The Cambodian Government's rural water and sanitation strategy as part of the Millennium Development Goals involves the following:
- Improve safe water access from 24% in 1998 to 62% in 2015
- Improve sanitation access from 9% in 1998 to 54% in 2015
Clear Cambodia has strong expertise in the Biosand Filter (BSF) technology and the community health education components necessary to make the technology successful. Through Clear Cambodia's Water filter and Sanitation Program, the BSF technology is leveraged to provide a sustainable and low cost source of potable water to areas of Cambodia in which access to safe water had previously been extremely limited.
Clear Cambodia's Water Filter and Sanitation program utilizes Biosand water filters which act as a bridging technology to improve health, life, productivity and dramatically increases the well being of participating beneficiaries.
Having witnessed the direct effectiveness of the Biosand filters, in excess of more than 30 thousands unsolicited requests for further filters installations have been received from community members, village leaders, government officials and local governors per year.
The Water Filter and Sanitation Program provides a holistic approach to ensuring that the Biosand filtration technology's effectiveness is maximized in the areas in which Clear Cambodia works.
The entire project process is wholly participatory. Filter recipients are initially trained on the appropriate use and importance of maintenance of their filters and physically construct their own filters themselves. In each operational location local volunteers are especially trained and assume the role of "trouble-shooters" with regard to appropriate filter maintenance in their respective communities.
Once installed by Clear Cambodia's teams, community Health Education and a variety of other key developmental training sessions are conducted at all operational sites and follow up meetings ensure that filter usage adheres to operating requirements.
Project evaluation and technical assessments are continually conducted and have consistently provided positive results. The project's implementation is revised based on evaluation recommendations. Arsenic Testing Kits have been issued for Clear Cambodia's project areas to ensure that the water sources being used are safe and free from high levels of arsenic. When the Department of Rural Development requests arsenic testing in any particular area Clear Cambodia will test using the kits.
The cost for each filter is US$60 which is paid for our funding partners (funding partners include; CIDA, Samaritan's Purse (SP), Charity Water (CW) and J.E Child fund. In addition, purchases have been made by World Vision Cambodia (WVC), Sovan Phum NGO, Japan Relief for Cambodia (JRC), Harris Financial and Health Insurance Services, Thavy Church, Germany Red Cross, United Cambodia Charity (UCC), Youth With A Mission (YWAM), Ministry of Agriculture and Action Aid. A filter unit installation, with appropriate community consultation, educational workshops and follow up meetings are also provided and covered by this cost.
Beneficiaries contribute 20 thousands riel per BSF which is used to support the Community Health Education (CHE) and a complementary initiative of latrine and well construction. These contributions also instill a strong sense of ownership of the filters and raise the perceived importance of the filters in the daily lives of recipients.