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Clean-water wells have transformed the lives of more than 15,000 villagers living in Cambodia’s rural communities around Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap Lake.

“The water we used before was brown. Now it is easier to get water. People are healthier and get sick less often,” says local resident Kert Un of the well that A&K Philanthropy built in his village.

Two million travellers visit the Buddhist temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia every year. In the surrounding province and nearby town of Siem Reap, more and more five-star hotels and stylish boutique hideaways are popping up for the increasingly affluent influx of tourists, with a new international airport promising more to come.

And yet very little of that economic activity trickles down to nearby rural villages. Siem Reap is one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia. One in five rural Cambodians does not have access to safe water and 13% of deaths in the country are related to unsafe water or inadequate sanitation. Waterborne illnesses are the second leading cause of death of children under five.

Since 2008, AKP has been working to provide families in Siem Reap with clean water through a program of well-building in the region that has resulted in more than 1,923 wells being constructed, providing safe drinking water for 16,534 people. We have also built a clean water station in the floating village of Peam Ta Our, on Tonle Sap lake, so that residents no longer have to use dirty lake water for cooking and bathing.

“Before, I was using dirty water, and often had trouble with my bladder. Since I got the well I haven’t had bladder problems,” says local resident Kvouch Thoeun.

AKP works in partnership with local community development organization the Trailblazer Foundation to identify locations and then install wells that have bio-sand filters, which are long lasting and ensure the long-term viability and impact of the well. Each well provides clean water for eight people each day on average.

Not only does the clean water improve sanitation and health, it can also be used to irrigate farm plots and provide drinking water for domestic animals. Healthy animals and good crops result in increased opportunities for families, helping to lift them out of poverty. As the nutrition and health status of the community improves, villagers have more time, energy and money to invest in private enterprise. Once basic needs are met, there is wider evidence of economic progress and autonomy within communities.

A donation of US$550 builds a well with a bio-sand water filter for a family in Siem Reap. Donors can be named at the well site and receive a certificate that includes information and photos of the receiving family, GPS coordinates for the well, depth and flow rate of the well, and information about the irrigated area. A&K can include a visit to the Cambodia Clean Water Project on a Tailor Made Journey to Cambodia and Southeast Asia.
AKP Coordinator Thailand, Cambodia & Laos Natthitaa (Fon) Siratharaapong
Natthitaa (Fon) Siratharaapong


“Before, I was using dirty water, and often had trouble with my bladder. Since I got the well I haven’t had bladder problems.” – local resident Kvouch Thoeun



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