Theary thrives at school thanks to clean water in her community

Theary thrives at school thanks to clean water in her community
LOEURT LUN, COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR CAMBODIA

“While I was fetching water of 60 liters on my shoulders, I sometimes slipped on the way home,” Theary, 10, recalled her experience in the last two years. “I failed down because my slippers got wet, and it hurt my shoulders and hip so much.” Theary, the second child of four siblings in the family, is very brave to share her story.

Every day, Theary and her big sister are responsible for fetching water for her family twice a day. It took each of them at least two hours per day to get the 120 litres of water needed and meant she missed much of school. When she reached the pond, many people (around 130 families) were also there to collect the water. She took a shower and washed her clothes there. 

“Several years ago we met serious water shortage during the hot (dry) season (from November to May), we wait for collecting the water from the evening until the night. Because we were in darkness, we feel scared of promat promang (abuser) when I was very late walking back home at night.”

The community had to walk through muddy, bush, rice field, for at least one hour and a half from home to collect the water. Lach Thang, a village chief, and the new water connection system committee leader, told me, “We use to fetch water far from our home. Sometimes we spent a lot of money to buy water without knowing where it came from just so we had something to drink.”

Lach Thang mentioned that because of water shortage villagers, especially children and newborn baby had a diarrhea in every year. “They got diarrhea because of the unclean water, and they drunk it

Theary told me she used to have a serious skin disorder on her body. Her hands had been hurt and it became ulcers. “The doctor said I was having a ‘venom’, so he advised me to wash my body everyday with soap and not to play with dirt.”


Since the water tower and connection systems have been built, Theary no longer has to worry about her skin disease. Standing next to the water jar in front of her house, Theary said that she wants to be a World Vision’s staff member. “If I were a World Vision staff, I would help a lot of poor people in my community as teacher does.”
 
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