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‘Floating bathrooms’ assist Cambodia’s lake-dwelling poor

SIEM REAP: Pointing to the murky waters of the Tonle Sap, Si Vorn fights again tears as she recollects her four-year-old daughter dying from diarrhoea after enjoying within the polluted lake.

Her household of 12 is amongst 100,000 individuals residing in floating homes on Cambodia’s huge inland waterway, and whereas their village has 70 homes and a major college, it has no sanitation system.

Now a neighborhood social enterprise, Wetlands Work (WW), is making an attempt to sort out the issue by rolling out “floating bathrooms” to filter waste, however the excessive value of set up means for now they’re obtainable to solely a fortunate few.

For generations, villagers whose livelihood is determined by fishing have defecated straight into the water that they use for cooking, washing and bathing – risking diarrhoea and much more extreme water-borne illnesses equivalent to cholera.

“We use this water, we drink this water, and we defecate into this water. Every little thing!” Si Vorn, 52, advised AFP, saying her household fell unwell on a regular basis.

“Every single day, I fear about my well being. Take a look at the water, there is no such thing as a sanitation. I am so fearful however I do not know what to do.”


Greater than 1,000,000 individuals reside on or round Tonle Sap, the world’s largest inland fishery, however there is no such thing as a system in place for managing human waste from the 20,000 floating homes across the lake.

Cambodia, ravaged by battle and the genocidal Khmer Rouge within the 1970s, is among the poorest nations in Southeast Asia.

A few third of the inhabitants doesn’t have entry to correct bathrooms, in response to the WaterAid charity, and diarrhoea is a number one killer of kids beneath 5.

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