News

Water and Sanitation – New Lifewater Office in Cambodia

Published July 15th, 2016 in News

Svay Leu Office launches clean water and sanitation program to reach thousands in remote, rural province.

Lifewater International opened a new field office in Svay Leu, Cambodia, this month to promote clean water and sanitation in the surrounding communities. The Cambodian field staff will operate from this office to engage several remote, rural communities in Siem Reap Province where vulnerable children and families lack access to safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education (WASH).

“The communities the new Svay Leu office will serve are among the most remote and underserved in the country,” says Carol Nowlin, Lifewater’s Southeast Asia Regional Director. “Our staff members are eager to continue the relationships they’ve formed visiting these communities, and they have found hardworking, welcoming families that are eager for change.”

In the northwest region of Cambodia, Svay Leu District is home to thousands of farming families. Many villages are remote and WASH coverage is very low. Seasonal rains are not enough to sustain the population, and changing climate patterns have brought drought. Unexploded landmines continue to pose a threat. While most children attend primary school, few continue to secondary school, and many girls drop out when they reach the age of menstruation because there are inadequate WASH facilities in schools.

Over the next few years, Lifewater will reach more than 28,000 vulnerable children and families with 26 village water projects and 6 school water projects. This new field office is responsible for implementing Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village (VHV) strategy, which includes actions and goals for each household, community, and school that will improve sustainable access to clean water and sanitation facilities. “I am excited to see how the VHV strategy enables breakthroughs in each household,” continues Nowlin. “We are introducing low-cost changes that everyone can implement. It’s not just a breakthrough for health; it’s a breakthrough in bringing hope where there is a lot of discouragement.”

The eight local employees currently working from the field office also coordinate with local government, which supports the work and participates in certifying healthy communities and schools. Lifewater’s program aligns with the Cambodian government’s national action plan to extend WASH access to all rural Cambodians. The Cambodian staff also works closely with local churches to strengthen their witness in communities, caring for their neighbors in tangible ways.

While the Svay Leu office serves people in Siem Reap Province, Lifewater is also investigating more opportunities to serve in neighboring regions. “The Southeast Asia region is strategically important for Lifewater to expand its reach,” remarks Lifewater’s President/CEO, Justin Narducci. “In the coming months and years, we will launch additional field teams in remote regions of Southeast Asia to serve the most vulnerable children and families. This field office in Svay Leu is just the beginning of what is to come.”

Lifewater International is a non-profit Christian water development organization dedicated to effectively serving vulnerable children and families by partnering with underserved communities to overcome water poverty. With experience in more than 40 countries since 1977, Lifewater serves people of all faiths, focusing on contextually appropriate water sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) development. For more information, contact Christine Zurbach (czurbach@lifewater.org) or visit www.lifewater.org. Lifewater International is based in San Luis Obispo, CA.