The Ministry of Rural Development along with the Indian government handed over 800 hand pumps to villagers in Tboung Khmum province yesterday to provide safe drinking water to rural communities.
The handover was presided over by Try Meng, a secretary of state with the Rural Development Ministry, and Indian Ambassador Manika Jain in Tboung Khmum province’s Tboung Khmum district.
Mr Meng noted that the ministry is working to improve hygiene in rural areas to ensure better living conditions. The government aims to have all rural communities accessing clean water and living in a hygienic environment by 2025, he added.
“Now, India has supported us by providing hand pumps in this province, so please, I ask that villagers use it, and also help to care for wells for a long time to come, because these are the main sources of water for daily use to help avoid diseases,” Mr Meng said.
He also suggested that local authorities help to report any damages in relation to the wells.
Sok Phally, deputy chief of the ministry’s water supplement department, said that 800 hand pumps were provided to two districts, including Tboung Khmum district and Krouch Chhmar district.
“The hand pumps are spread and built in several communes in the province for villagers to be able to access water,” Mr Phally said.
Hoat Nang, a 45-year-old villager, said that villagers were happy to receive the hand pumps. She said that over the past few months, the weather has been very hot, which made it difficult to find water.
“During the dry season, we buy clean water to use,” Ms Nang said. “And we must walk far to access clean water. Now, we have those hand pumps near our house.”
In 2017, the Indian government also supplied and installed 1,500 Afridev hand pumps to increase water supply in rural areas in Tboung Khmum, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Chhnang and Svay Rieng provinces.
According to a report by the Ministry of Rural Development, 1,626 wells were dug, 2,768 were repaired and 374 community ponds were restored to enable people in rural areas to access clean water in 2018.