Seng, our Clean Water Program Manager, discusses the recent revisit to previous clean water village and how this helps to refine JWOC’s programs for the future
Making time available to return to our previous Clean Water villages is an important aspect of the Clean Water Program. It enables us to recognize what has changed in those villages and what the project can do more to support the needs of the villagers. It helps us evaluate the program so we can be more effective as we continue to deliver access to clean water and hygiene education to villages in need.
The aim of the revisit was to assess the villages current access to clean water, their hygiene practices, access to clean drinking water and their sanitation needs.
We chose seven villages, DuonKeov, Brasat Char, Doun On, Antangkon, Ta Kam, Pong Ro, and KorkBeng, to revisit because it had been more than two years since we had initially started working with them. They are all around 30kilometres from JWOC and the size of the villages vary from 150 – 350 families. All the villages that we revisited were primarily farming villages which grow one rice crop per year with many of the villagers leaving to work illegally in Thailand.
Kouk Beng, which is the latest village on the revisit list, had really positive results. All JWOC wells are being used, they’re working properly and have enough water all year round.
We reported a number of well breakages, but the breakages are small and the wells are still operational. One positive aspect of the revisit was that villagers were fixing their own wells. In Kouk Beng we found that all the villagers had made repairs to the wells and all were all operational.
Many of the villagers continue to still use filters from JWOC, we found that a few families had bought new filters. A small amount of villagers were drinking water directly from the source without using a filter, their reason for this was that they weren’t aware of where to get a filter from. We provided villagers with contact details for purchasing new filters. Upon evaluation we have decided to add extra training components regarding water filter usage. We are investigating why some villagers still choose to drink directly from the water source but in the meantime, we have updated the trainings to make them more interactive. Furthermore, we have improved the visuals that are used in the flip charts so the scholarship students convey the important information regarding water filters in a more engaging fashion. We have also included an understanding checklist into the trainings.
In terms of hygiene knowledge acquisition we have seen most practicing well, 69% mention at least 3important activities to wash their hands before eating, before preparing food and after using the toilet especially they use the soap most of time when they are washing their hands. Most of villagers are brushing their teeth every day, 95% stated that brushing the teeth every day is important.
What we have found in the villages is really important information that helps us refine the program for the future. We are always looking for ways to improve the program and analyzing and assessing our previous work is the best way to move forward. We will continue to help communities help themselves as it is the way that can bring about sustainable change.