Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cambodia - Observations re Biosand Water Filters

So the issue in central Cambodia, Pursat Province, is convincing the villagers that the water is actually making them sick. Add to that an element of skepticism about the biosand filter (concrete and sand?) and a healthy dose of poor education, and you've got a formula which currently spells out poor adoption rates and low utilization. We heard comments like 'my mothers spirit looks after us', which is very much a Buddhist karmic line of thought, and it's very hard to argue with that embedded cultural thought pattern. After all, who are we, the 'wealthy' westerners, who drop into their lives for a short period of time and try to teach them a better way about sanitation and water treatment. Being here for such a short time makes it virtually impossible, but the two way transfer of information will undoubtedly be a positive thing; not to mention the money we will leave behind which will go to developing infrastructure for the biosand filter.

The filter appears to be a greater success in Kolar (India) than in Pursat (Cambodia) so far.


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