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Today: Nov 17, 2019

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Promoting District and commune on budget allocation in Santouk district, Kampong Thom province

 

 

In Santuk, API is currently working on the implementation of three prioritized projects: First of all, one regularly mentioned problem remains the not yet protected fish conservation zone. Repeatedly exposed to the attacks of other villages, particularly the spawning and small fish stocks are assaulted by the illegal fishing, which actually constitute a vast supply foundation for the community. Thus to improve the protection, the acquisition of a boat for regular patrols was decreed, frequently carried out by volunteers free of charge.

 

Furthermore, water filters should be installed in the service administration to lastly have access to clean, safe drinking water. In the context of long waiting times and intense heat, the community people heretofore invariably drank the water straight from the well, pump, pond, river or other impure sources, because they had no money to buy some bottles of purified one from vendors. This repeatedly made them sick due to bacteria, parasites and agricultural compounds in the water.

 

Finally, the garbage issue, always significantly influences the rural landscape, should be addressed through the installation of trash bins with rotating responsibility for emptying. Having hitherto only been able to elucidate the dangers of soiled drinking water and garbage disposal in the street without a genuine alternative, these projects could effect a real change of attitude in people’s minds.

 

Both for the installation and further maintenance, a not insignificant amount of financial recourses is necessary. These originate from a variety of different sources: One part of the required funds descend from the Commune Fund, which is made up of the Government-allocated budget. Besides, contributions were collected through a charity box set up in the pagoda, whose donations flow into local project implementation as well as the support of disabled people. The third pillar represents the financial support of general people. Among them are business people such as restaurant owners, cow owners or other volunteers who make up the bulk of project funding due to their generous donations. A key role plays the very active Commune chief, always endeavouring to collect donations and hence assisting the still verdant CBOs to find a way to solve problems and implement projects.

 

On the district level, however, communication is much more difficult. Through the fact that the commune chief is often uncontactable, information can only be shared with the clerk and the volunteering staff.

 

Despite all the difficulties, the district's budget situation has improved. Two years ago, all households in the province still had to pay annual contributions of 500 – 2,000 Riel per family. Announced at the Annual Budget Contribution Meeting, attended by, inter alia, the village chief and school principal, former subsequently shared the information with the community.

 

But even in those days previous did not pose a problem, since the community understood the importance and their own benefit, consequently they were delighted to contribute to the improvement. In many cases they even donated a much higher amount than was required. Only poor families were excluded from this payment, one not want to place another burden on them. But all this is no longer necessary owing to the generous donations from various quarters. 

The contributions collected so far suffice for the purchase of 21 trash bins, 4 filters and 1 patrolling boat. Currently some positive developments have been already observed by the API volunteers: waiting, thirsty community people who now gratefully help themselves to the trough filters purified water, community people who regularly bring their rubbish to the trash cans instead of throwing it to the side of the road or the community leader who regularly patrols by boat.

 

 

Nevertheless, for further maintenance new sources of funding must be opened. One of them is the forestry service group which wants to put 20,000 Riel out of the annual budget of 20,000,000 Riel at the fishing patrol group’s disposal. Besides, the commune/district council command a small amount of budget for supporting their monthly meeting. By now gotten the filter machine, they contribute a part of their budget for refreshment to the former one.

 

Thence one takes a sanguine view foresight. Such as CBO Representative Mr.Yun SAM OEUN; Deputy of the forestry service group of theKo Koh Commune: We would like to cordially thank API for the vigorous support and hope simultaneously for further assistance in the future, for instance organizing a machine for the existing boat, which would facilitate the patrols formidably.

 

 

This action was carried out as part of the PRO-Citizen Project, funded by DCA and BftW.