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Today: Oct 18, 2019

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A start into a healthier and cleaner district - Prasat Ballang District, Kampong Thom Province

 

 

Prasat Balangk is one of eight districts /municipalities in Kampong Thom province. It has 7 communes and 64 villages, 10,480 households, 10,970 families, totaling 55,201 people (28,860 females).

 

On the 24 and 25 May 2018, local authorities of the commune and district level such as CBOs representatives in Santuk and Prasat Balangk district have organized a meeting with support from API to identify and prioritize the key issues for intervention. Within the event, 15 issues were raised: Waste gear, hot and cool water machine, trash management, road construction, trainings on the commune councils role and responsibility as well as the financial management, training on road safety, drug abuse, land grabbing, electricity, lack of an irrigation system for farming, illegal forestry, uniform for villager guards, equipment for patrolling (communication radio, rain coat, flashlight, boots, boat,...), illegal fishing.

 

In Prasat Balangk, API is currently working on the implementation of two prioritized projects: First of all, 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.Furthermore, 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.

 

While the current two projects and thus also the funds only include the mere purchase of the necessary goods, consisting of $1,000 financed by API and the community's own contribution of $475, for trainings on the correct usage and further maintenance is not yet available and must be urgently raised in a timely manner. The already collected funds originate from a variety of different sources: One part of the required funds of about $125,000, which make up the bulk of project funding, descend from the Commune Fund, which is made up of the Government-allocated budget. This is only a very small amount of the total budget of the government, which remains largely in their own hands. Besides, contributions were collected through a charity box set up in the pagoda, whose donations flow into local project implementation as well as the support of disabled people. Thereby around 100$ can be raised annually.

 

The third pillar represents the financial support of general people. Among them are businesspeople such as an electricity company to which the commune maintains a good relationship, restaurant and cow owners, who due to the almost not existing private sector make up only a small part of project funding.Despite, all households in the province have to pay annual contributions of 12,5 – 50 Cent 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 that do not pose a problem, since the community understand the importance and their own benefit, consequently they are delighted to contribute to the improvement. In many cases they even donate a much higher amount than required. Only poor families are excluded from this payment, one not want to place another burden on them.

 

The CBO Leader Mr. MEAN MOM; Trapaing Kbal Khmorch; Forestry Community in Salavisai Commune: Owing to the close relationship between the CBO and population as well as the thereof arising confidence, the population do not hesitate to donate the needed amount, when the CBO disseminates the information.

 

All in all, this allowed the purchase of 28 trash bins, 4 filters machines, which are - based on the observations of the API volunteers- actively and gratefully used. Thence one takes an optimistic view foresight, hoping for the successful acquisition of funds for the continuation.

 

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