I grew up in rural Cambodia where, for many, water is either drawn from river, pond or a well, if you are well to do, and the toilet is in the bush. My family and I are the lucky ones. We have both well water and toilet (outhouse style).
In Cambodia, we are either having too much water during the rainy season (Monsoon rain comes from April through November), which often contaminated with human and animal fecal matters, or not enough water during the dry season (November through April). So water is always a challenge, too much and too little, and at time out right dangerous..
Pond, river and even well water often contaminated with E.coli bacteria, Giardia and/or arsenic, often in a shallow dug water well, unless one bore the well down to 300 feet or more for best water, which very few can afford. Filtered or bottled water is an unknown commodity then. Thus, many children never made past the age 5 as childhood death, directly linked to contaminated water, was the main killer of children and elderly alike. Diarrhea and Dysentery (led to severe dehydration) are the two main killers. This is the environment and condition people of my generation were forced to live under, an avoidable condition with just basic education. But we had none.
Today, the advance of purified bottled water help improved the lives of folks in the city a great deal, along with disinfected city water. However, 80% of the population still live and work in the countryside, which is susceptible to conditions faced by my generation some 50 years ago. They are still struggling to have a basic water well and inexpensive bottled water for drinking.
However, with the help of a few international NGOs, deep water wells, outhouses, basic natural water purification (inexpensive sand and charcoal filtering process) are a common sight in people home. This had dramatically improved the people live a great deal. But resources are few and far in between and fund for needed tools for clean water is in short supply or not enough to go around.
But the key word here is EDUCATION, which is still lacking, that it is not safe to drink pond or river water directly. That water had to be boiled or purified first, even well water. This is where we came in, BTC, EDUCATION and showing them how to do it right.
One of our board member, Janis Lindblom, had been actively raising money in Australia and help drilled over 275 deep wells now, provide basic housing and food supplies to the most vulnerable. Our board and volunteers have supported effort during natural disasters, such as severe flood, which affected people greatly each year. Janis and her husband John work tirelessly to make a difference, one family, one community at a time. So are we as a board of BTC.
On a larger scale, BTC is providing not only clean water, but also the much needed education. It is what I called the three EEE prong of attack. “Engineering, Education and Enforcement.” We had just upgraded our daily clean water supply capability from 5,000L per day to 10,000L per day recently. We are doing it, including providing purified water at very little cost as possible to some 25,000 we intended to serve, communities in and around BTC campus.
Please support our effort. THANKS!
Ronnie Yimsut, Founder and Chair of BTC