Habitat Marks World Water Day In Vietnam And Cambodia

HFH Vietnam Unveils Pilot Piped Water Project; HFH Cambodia Gets Student Volunteers To Help Families Fetch Water

HO CHI MINH CITY/PHNOM PENH, 15th April 2010: Habitat for Humanity in Vietnam and Cambodia observed the UN’s World Water Day on 22nd March in different ways. This year’s theme was water quality.

Adequate water access makes a lot of difference in this Vietnamese family’s life.

Volunteers from the Shanghai American School had a first-hand experience of the daily routine of fetching water in Cambodia.

In the Asia-Pacific region, 620 million people live without adequate water and at least 1.8 billion people do without adequate sanitation. Nearly nine out of every 10 diarrhea incidents – which kill approximately 2.2 million people a year – are attributed to poor sanitation and dirty water. In South and Southeast Asia, diarrhea is responsible for up to 8.5 per cent of all deaths.

In Vietnam, Habitat marked World Water Day by unveiling a pilot project to provide piped water to benefit 500 low-income families in U Minh Thuong district, in the southern province of Kien Giang. HFH Vietnam has assisted hundreds of families with access to safe drinking water through building 505 wells and 60 water collection containers.

In Cambodia, a Global Village volunteer team had a first-hand experience of how families meet their water needs. The volunteers from Shanghai American School in China helped two families in Trapang Krasang village, Dangkor district, about 22 km from the capital Phnom Penh to fetch water from a well using a water tank fitted on a cart. The Habitat families showed the students how they had to use water filter or boil the water before it was safe to drink. By taking the families’ place for a short time, the students were better able to understand their difficulty in gaining access to clean drinking water.