Humanitarian and Development
Takeo and Kompot Provinces, Cambodia
Selection Committee 2005/02/08
« The innovative solutions that the MIREP programme has designed and tested has made it possible to prove and provide lasting organised systems of delivering drinking water in a spirit of sustainable development. »
According to available data, less than a quarter of the population of Cambodia has access to clean drinking water, only 11% of the inhabitants have water at home.
Slightly over half of the population know that water can transport diseases. Depending on the regions and the seasons, the water that is available is scarce, stagnant and therefore dirty, or, on the contrary, too much in abundance, but also contaminated. Moreover, in many regions, there is no use in digging water holes or wells because the underground water is of poor quality.
Bringing water and instruction in hygiene
For three years, at the request of the Cambodian government, the GRET Association (Research and Technology Exchange Group), the Cambodian engineering company Kosan and Veoliaforce have been examining the feasibility of a simplified kind of system for access to drinking water, but one that is efficient and reliable, called the MIREP (for "miniréseau d'eau potable" or "mini-drinking water system"). The original feature of this system is how flexible it is to install and how easy it is to maintain. It cab be managed easily by small local businesses, based on quality recommendations issued by the public authorities. In addition, experts from the three sponsoring organisations advise the village communities on how to enter into viable contracts with the private-sector entities. In this way, even very poor populations can get access to clean drinking water on terms they can meet.
After a first conclusive experiment in the Takeo Province, in the southern part of the country, the MIREP programme was developed in the region of Kompot. Ten mini-systems were installed with their drinking water production plants.
The €25,000 granted by the Veolia Foundation helped finance the drinking water production plant in the town of Prey Pkhoam and the technical equipment for it, as well as the hygiene instruction of the local population.