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The Cambodian Water Crisis

Cambodian Clean Water Shortage

Cambodia has some of the lowest levels of access to clean water in all of Asia. Only 53% of rural households have access to clean water, which means more than 2 million families are without access to this life-giving necessity.

Only about 70% of the rural population has flushable toilets connected to sewerage. This means that ponds and other natural water sources are being contaminated with human waste. When people rely on these water sources for drinking, cooking and washing, they end up getting sick, which also results in lost wages due to an inability to work.

Even in areas where toilets do exist, their quality and quantity are not sufficient in public spaces like schools, and handwashing facilities are often not available. In health care facilities, there is a lack of water to meet the everyday needs for hygiene and sanitation.

In the capital city of Phnom Penh, the Water Supply Authority issued a warning in regard to the shortage of clean water for 2022’s dry season. This bustling city has a total of 4 water treatment plants, and because of its economic growth, the demand for clean water has exceeded the production capacity.

Cambodia allows private companies to obtain a license for providing clean, piped water to most parts of the country. That is why we’ve been able to drill more than 490 wells throughout the impoverished nation. According to a recent study—Provincial Investment Plan for Piped Water Supply in Cambodia (PIP)—the private sector has the potential to help close the clean water gap in villages that don’t have a source of clean water and proper sanitation facilities.

To estimate the costs of bringing clean water to the uncovered areas of Cambodia, the PIP study team utilized Google Earth to design 782 piped water systems for 4,966 villages with 1.06 million households. According to their model, more than $150 million is needed to pipe treated water into the villages that lack coverage.

The need in Cambodia is great, but we continue to make strides in some of the poorest communities that are desperate for the gift of clean water. We’ve been serving Cambodia for more than a decade now and have provided clean water to more than 200,000 of the nation’s poorest villages.

It is the generosity of our supporters that allows us to bring this most important resource to rural villages across the country, all for the glory of God. A gift of $1,500 (or $125 per month) helps provide clean water for an entire village. Would you consider partnering with us in this life-changing work?

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