Plan International Cambodia in partnership with the Siem Reap Provincial Department of Rural Development organised a World Water Day 2018 event under the theme “Nature for Water” at a primary school in Angkor Chum, Siem Reap province last week. The aim was to teach students how to use water in the right way and to drink fresh or boiled water.
“Plan international Cambodia has collaborated with local communes since 2006 to promote the use of fresh water. Water is very important for people’s lives, so that’s why communes and villages need to know how to use water the right way. And we always work with NGO to teach people, especially in remote or rural areas, to live healthily. And if people drink fresh or boiled water they will be healthy,” said Nhol Kheng, director of the Siem Reap provincial Department of Rural Development.
At the event, Plan International Cambodia provided around 200 bottles designed for repeated use to students and taught them how to use them and the importance of such bottle.
Using reusable bottles allows students to limit the use of disposable bottles, which harm the environment. Students can use these bottles to carry water to school or for other purposes every day, and don’t have to throw them away and use a new one each day.
“When students drink fresh water or good water they will have good health, so when they are healthy, they come to study. But if students are sick from drinking dirty water, many problems follow; they cannot come to school and will end up spending a lot of time in hospital, which costs their parents money,” added water expert Im Chansopheap, a WASH programme officer at Plan International.
Veoun Panha, a teacher at Beng Primary School, said he always teaches students about the importance of water, hygiene, etc. He teaches students to drink water that has been boiled first.
“I have taught here for almost two years now. Besides teaching subjects in class I also teach my students how to take care of our environment, especially saving water and sorting trash. I told them to drink pure water and boil water to avoid sickness. And to observe hygiene by cleaning hands before we eat,” Mr Panha said.
“When people drink water directly from lakes, ponds and rivers it can lead to diseases like diarrhoea and typhoid,” Mr Panha added.
Neang Sovathana, an honorary ambassador for Plan International Cambodia, joined the event to raise awareness of the importance of protecting nature and water sources, and the importance of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene among students and the community.
The United Nations has designated March 22 as annual World Water Day.