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Clean drinking water for Cambodia

For many families, the lack of clean water means a cycle of poverty and disease: children in particular often suffer from preventable diseases and cannot go to school.


Today, after years of civil war, Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world.
The contrasts are great, because on the one hand this country is regularly affected by floods and on the other hand the population suffers from acute drinking water shortages in the subsequent dry seasons.

Diarrhea, usually transmitted through drinking water, is the leading cause of death in children under five years of age. The better water quality through a simple filter system reduces the transmission of diseases and thus mortality.

How it all started ...

Werner Helbig (graduate social worker and former head of the pluspunkt meeting place in Wiesbaden-Erbenheim) is friends with several Cambodians. One of them is Yoeum Yav (called Jim), whom he met on one of his trips.

Jim lives in the north of Angkor in the Siem Reap region and is a rice farmer. He is at home in a village with around 215 families. All of them have the problem of contaminated drinking water. In the absence of sewage treatment plants or septic tanks, the groundwater is contaminated with bacteria. The wells that have been drilled produce this water, which is contaminated with coli bacteria, among other things. It is usually drunk unfiltered. The result is diarrhea and deaths, especially among children.

Werner Helbig bought a bio-sand water filter for Jim and his family during his last stay in Siem Reap.

Cost: 70 euros (half a month's wage for many Cambodians and unaffordable for most rice farmers!).

How the water filter works can be seen here.

Jim tried his filter and was immediately convinced of its function, as it was hygienically perfect  Produces drinking water for a whole family. As a result, WasserZeichen e.V. equipped Jim's entire village (215 families) with a water filter.

The water filters have been in operation since 2018 and deliver clean drinking water without any problems.

The WasserZeichen e.V. association supported this project with your help. The cost of the project amounted to € 15,000.00.

How it went on ...


In 2019 the first school was equipped with the School Wash Program. The Chrey Primary School near Siem Reap received a water filter system for 500 people, a toilet system, a wash house, a waste incineration plant and the training of teachers on the subject of hygiene. For this purpose, 4 structures had to be built, for which our cooperation partner in Cambodia Clear Cambodia was responsible.

The cost of the entire project was € 9200.00.

In 2020 another school will be equipped with the School Wash Program. It is the Phum O Primary School, also in the Siem Reap district. Construction began here in May 2020. Werner Helbig was in Cambodia in March 2020 and both selected the school and signed the contracts with Clear Cambodia. In September all the systems were completed and the school was able to put them into operation. The cost of this project was € 9700.00.

Werner Helbig flies to Cambodia once a year (at his own expense), among other things, to assess the development of all projects and to initiate new programs.

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