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The Khmer people of the Improving Farm Households' Capacity in Long Phu District, Soc Trang Province project suffered critical shortages of fresh water for daily use. Prior to the Heifer project, which helped them secure a clean source of water, they fetched water from rivers and canals. Heifer Vietnam and more than 20 project members contributed money to build hand-pumped wells that provide healthier water to drink and use for household activities. Local authorities from Tan Hung village supported the project wholeheartedly.
One hand-pumped well costs nearly $200. Each participating household contributed $50 and will pay the balance with no interest rate within two years. Two or three families can combine their money to purchase and share one well. "I and other neighbors will no longer carry river water every day," said project participant Mrs. Kim Thi Ngon. "My family recognized the importance of a well, but we couldn't afford it, so I'm so glad to receive Heifer Vietnam's timely support." Another project participant, Mr. Kim Van, added, "Though we know that water from rivers and canals is dirty and harmful for our health, we had no choice. My family had limited finances to build one for our consumption, so we are now very happy to use fresh and clean water."
The first 10 hand-pumped wells have brought joy, pleasure and inspiration for the entire community. Now, wanting to access fresh water for their families, even more project members are saving money to contribute to the cost of their own hand-pumped well.
In addition to wells, the project has introduced many useful activities to the Khmer community, including trainings on agriculture and animal raising.