Water and sanitation

Microentrepreneurship and local capacity building for access to safe drinking water in rural areas (Phase 3)

1001 Fontaines

Cambodia has approximately 15 million inhabitants, 10 million of whom live in rural areas. According to UNICEF and the WHO, over 7 million people lack affordable access to a source of treated water and have no option but to drink the water available locally – river water or pond water. As well as living in poverty, these villagers often lack basic education on the issues of safe water, sanitation and hygiene practices. The result is a high incidence of waterborne diseases and an infant mortality rate in the villages that can reach 20%.

The implementation area for this project covers four provinces around the country’s capital, Phnom Penhc– Kandal, Prey Veng, Kampong Cham and Kampong Speu. Access to water is particularly problematic in these provinces because of the high concentrations of arsenic that occur naturally in groundwater in the Mekong River basin. By using surface water, 1001 Fontaines can bypass this problem and offer a simple and sustainable solution to water access, which is one of the reasons for the Cambodian Ministry of Rural Development’s active support for this project.

Since 2005, the project has been part of 1001 Fontaines’ overall objective of improving the health of rural populations through sustainable access to safe drinking water. In 2012, the results of a health impact study, largely funded by Fondation Ensemble, demonstrated the positive impact of the 1001 Fontaines initiative on beneficiaries’ health (study available here).

The Foundation’s support for the ‘Cambodia Phase 3’ project will once again be crucial, for developing the entrepreneurial structure of the initiative through an ongoing entrepreneurship training program for the villagers who operate the 1001 Fontaines water treatment units.

This innovative component of the program, entitled the ‘Social Entrepreneur Academy’ derives directly from recommendations made by 1001 Fontaines’ partners, in particular Fondation Ensemble. It is the cornerstone for ensuring the enhanced impact and sustainability of the initiative.

The Social Entrepreneur Academy will be implemented between 2012 and 2015 as part of the scaling up of 1001 Fontaines’ activity in the south of Cambodia. This will include the setting up of 60 new water treatment units, linked to a technical support platform in Phnom Penh.

Share this project on :
© 2014 Fondation EnsembleCreditsTerms of useCookiesFAQSitemapRSS