More Pigs for a Better Education: Another Outcome from the Cambodia Clean Water Project
By: Emily Etue | AKP SE Asia Coordinator
SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA | We walk up and greet Pouk during a recent spot-check of AKP’s wells in Preak Ko Tmey Village. She happily waves us over to show us her pigs. She beams with pride as she tells us “look at all my pigs. I even have three pregnant pigs right now!”
You may be thinking ‘what do pigs have to do with the Cambodia Clean Water Project?’ but the answer is, a lot. Pouk is a subsistence farmer and previously she would raise a pig or two for some cash income. Before she received her AKP clean water well and filter Pouk not only struggled to meet her own thirst but also struggled to keep her pigs healthy and could not care for many at one time. Cambodia is a very hot country and many people in rural areas do not have access to electricity for air-conditioning or even an electric fan to keep themselves, let alone their livestock, cool. Therefore, water is used to keep farm animals from overheating during the hot daytime weather. Without easy access to water she could only allow one pig to be pregnant at a time because that is all the water she could get to take care of her pigs.
Now, with easy access to water from her AKP clean water well and filter set she can raise many more pigs. All of the income from the pigs goes towards her daughters’ education. She has earned enough cash income from selling more pigs that next year her two daughters will study in Siem Reap instead of attending highschool in the village. In Siem Reap they will receive a better education because of more access to qualified teachers and educational opportunities.
The Cambodia Clean Water Project was established in 2008 and since that time has brought clean water access to more than 18,000 people in Siem Reap province. In addition to helping people meet their immediate thirst needs and reduce diseases from drinking dirty water, the project has also helped farmers who rely on water to keep their animals cool and healthy to raise more livestock and increase their income.