India pumps in aid for cleaner water
The Indian government has honored its pledge to ensure rural people across four Cambodian provinces get desperately needed access to clean water.
Yesterday marked the long-awaited arrival of 1,500 hand pumps which will be distributed to Tbong Khmum (1,250), Kampong Chhnang and Banteay Meanchey (100 each) and Svay Rieng (50).
Rural Development Minister Ouk Rabun told an inauguration ceremony in Tbong Khmum that the $12m grant had been promised in 2011 at the request of the Cambodia government.
Mr. Rabun said as many as half of all people in rural areas still do not have access to clean water and providing it was vital to improving their health.
He said it was the government’s goal to ensure the entire population has access to clean water by 2025.
“Cambodia and India have a close relationship,” he said, adding that India provided grant aid and cooperated with Cambodia in many areas.
Indian Ambassador Naveen Srivastava said that India has a keen appreciation of the problems faced by rural people.
“India is like Cambodia,” he said. “We are both developing countries and many Indian people live in rural areas.
“So India understands very well the importance of providing electricity and clean drinking water in rural areas. India will continue to provide assistance to Cambodia as you need it.”
One man who attended yesterday’s ceremony was 62-year-old Chranh Rith, a villager from Tunlung commune, who celebrated the arrival of the hand pumps.
“Before I drank water from the well, river or creek,” he said. “There was no hygiene. The water was filthy and contained the faeces of cows and buffalos.
“Now I’m so happy us villagers can use these hand pumps. Now our villages will have clean water for cooking and drinking.”
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