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Local context

Problem N°1 in the Puok District: Water The 154 villages in this district all have problems procuring water, and when it does arrive it’s usually unfit for human consumption, according to criteria established by WHO (the World Health Organization). The number of water sources is insufficient: only 12% of the zone is in proximity to a water source.

Unfavorable Climate and Geology

Cambodia is primarily composed of an immense low-lying sedimentary plain, partially submerged in the center by the waters of great Lake Tonlé Sap. The plain is bordered by a series of mountain ranges to the north and east. The district of Puok is situated in the lower part of the plain. It is characterized by tropical vegetation, pushing through the surface of the thin block of hard sandstone or granite that it rests on. The climactic conditions of Cambodia, combined with the geological context of the region, results in flood situations during the rainy season, and drought situations in the hot, dry season. During monsoons, the shallow earth bed is quickly saturated with falling rainwater. When the rain stops, the upper layer of soil dries out quickly through infiltration and evaporation: in the dry season, temperatures often reach 40°C. The meager reserves are rapidly exhausted. Most water sources go dry a few weeks after the end of the rainy season. Some minor work is undertaken by local artisans: manual digging of dried-up wells using small-diameter tubes, not to any great depth. But these wells usually become obstructed after a few months of service, with no possibility of being restored. These sources of pumped water are of low capacity, not permanent, and do not produce drinkable water. A lack of maintenance usually leads inhabitants to abandon them altogether.