The Apsara Authority has started a pilot project to treat contaminated water from the toilets of villagers living in the Angkor site in a bid to improve their health and sanitation.
Long Kosal, a spokesman for the authority, yesterday said that Apsara is cooperating with the French government to implement the PAAGERA Project for Cleaning Water and Water Management to treat water flowing out of toilets, starting with nearly 30 villagers’ houses in Siem Reap city’s Nokor Thom commune.
He said that the water treatment system is designed to improve the welfare of the villagers and reduce the amount of contaminated water seeping underground.
“The water from the toilets is dirty and contains bacteria which affect people’s health, so we have implemented a treatment system to clean the water automatically to destroy the bacteria,” Mr Kosal said. “But we do not plan to reuse the treated water.”
He said that the PAAGERA initiative first started in 2013 when people in the Angkor site were educated on living with good sanitation for the welfare of their families.
In the pilot project, a working group is connecting the toilet water treatment system to 28 houses. The work is expected to be completed by the end of this month or early February.
“The main purpose of the project is to help our people to live with good hygiene and good health without pollution,” Mr Kosal said. “We will extend the system to more places under the management of Apsara Authority.”
He added that the people understand about sanitary living, but most of them do not have resources to install a water treatment system.
Tep Proeun, a villager, yesterday said that she was very happy to see the working group from Apsara Authority connecting the treatment system to her toilet.
“My toilet was made more than 10 years ago and we did not have a system to clean the water so the dirty water flows into the ground,” she said. “I do not have money to buy a purification system.”
The PAAGERA initiative does not only treat toilet water from villagers’ homes but also involves building toilets for villagers who do not have them.