Drinking water for Cambodia’s villages

Founded by a Frenchman, the NGO “1001 Fontaines” is increasing the installation of water kiosks in remote villages in Cambodia. Built around a borehole, they allow the entire community to have access to drinking water, and to also make a living from it thanks to the income generated by this activity.


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Water kiosks also provide work for seven hundred people in Cambodian villages.  (a thousand and one fountains)

In 2017, in Cambodia, alone, 17% of the rural population had access to safe drinking water. If the situation has clearly improved today, it is largely thanks to a French NGO, “1001 Fontaines” whose objective is to install wells in the most remote villages of the country, according to a model tripartite, explains Thierry Dubois, who has been living in Cambodia for 12 years. The Frenchman is the former operational director of the NGO.

During the twenty years following the war in Cambodia, development was at a standstill.  (a thousand and one fountains)

“The Cambodian state, through the municipalities, will provide land on which we will build buildings, a small water treatment plant, and we will then recruit villagers, three people per village, per micro- factory. And this small factory will become their own little business, it will be a micro-business. And the NGO will then run a social franchise service and maintain a network of small water entrepreneurs.

Flagship country of 1001fontaines, Cambodia has demonstrated for 18 years the relevance of its model of sustainable access to drinking water, and its capacity to become 100% autonomous.  (a thousand and one fountains)

Since 2005, the NGO has equipped approximately one in four rural communities in Cambodia. In total, more than 250 micro-factories have been installed. These water kiosks also provide work for 700 people. It must be said that it was a necessity.

During the 20 years following the war in Cambodia, development was virtually at a standstill. The water from the kiosks therefore prevents residents from diseases such as cholera, typhoid or dysentery, and from having to spend money on expensive hospital care.

In Cambodia, 6.3 million people do not have access to drinking water, 60% of whom live in rural areas.  (a thousand and one fountains)

And the NGO doesn’t stop there. She set up a project aimed at employees, this time factories in the city, Frédéric Dubois explains:

“The goal is for the boss of the factory, the owner of the factory, to pay for his workers to have drinking water at home, which we will provide to them. This represents a cost of approximately close 1 $ per worker per month, so it’s relatively negligible, and it should reduce illnesses, and reduce sick leave for their workers, and it would allow the workers to improve their health.”

Thierry Dubois in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia:

It should be noted that the operation of a factory in Cambodia is very different from what it is in the West:

“The company is above all a family where the boss, the owner of the company, will have the father figure, or mother figure, towards the employees, and within the same organization, ‘the same company, we will very often ultimately recognize the mechanisms of a family, where we never leave anyone behind, where we take care of everyone’s small problems, and where each of the employees can, in any case in safely, trust your employer.”

Since 2005, the NGO has equipped approximately one in four rural communities in Cambodia (a thousand and one fountains)

These initiatives also have a positive impact on education. According to a recent American study, the delivery of clean water to Cambodian primary schools reduced absenteeism by 75%.

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The NGO 1001 fountains

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