The latest report from a major project co-funded by Meeting Needs brings gratifying news from Cambodia where the Angkoul Village water, hygiene and sanitation project to bring clean water to nearly 1000 people in Siem Reap Province is nearing completion.

Supported by Meeting Needs, Reed Elsevier and Wendy Wu Tours, the project by Just a Drop began in July 2015 to provide six drinking wells with hand-pumps, 198 biosand filters and the provision of basic materials to 68 householders for them to build their own pit latrines in Angkoul village, which is located in the District of Kralanh in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

The village has a population of 945 people in 198 households and 10 per cent of the population (95 children) are under the age of 5. So far, 104 biosand filters have been installed. Each household has been individually trained on proper use and maintenance of the BSF and water storage. Hygiene and sanitation education was provided to reinforce the training provided earlier.

Biosand filter commissioning takes 21 days after delivery, filling with sand and then with water. This is to allow final flushing of the sand and gravel in the tank and allows build-up of the purifying biological growth. Around 50 filters have now been in use for two weeks with positive reactions.

Latrine construction is still in progress and seven latrines are currently under construction and while 10 households still need to start construction. Rehabilitation and construction of wells will begin shortly. Because of the result of the blind testing, further discussions with the community is needed to establish the right course for rehabilitation of the wells. The 64 remaining biosand filters will be distributed and installed and water testing of the BSFs will be conducted after the installation is finished.

Kievtoeurn, a grandmother, has only had her filter working for five days but said: “the new water tastes so good and now no more boiling is needed and that saves wood.” Commenting on the latrine she said: “It’s good as it’s close and saves getting up early to go to fields”. She also now has soap and can wash properly in private.

Meeting Needs chairperson Jennifer Jenkins said: “We were delighted to work with Just a Drop on this project and the results thus far are fantastic. Well done to all connected with the project.”