The Water for Education Project, providing four schools in Siem Reap with water filtration systems, has successfully installed a water filtration system providing one school with delicious clean, clear water. The water is available to both students and the wider community. Rotarians and friends from Australia, Cambodia and Singapore joined together to celebrate this project in action.

Water for Education is a partnership project of the Rotary clubs of Keilor East, Passport Melbourne and the Cambodian Rural Student Trust (CRST). The ‘In Country’ expertise came from Clear Water Cambodia and Engineers Without Borders. 
 
RC Keilor East President 2022-23, Debra Sloggett, reported on the opening: 
 
It was a momentous and exciting occasion on August 6th 2022, when the tap was turned on and we tasted the beautifully clear, clean water from the newly installed water filtration system at Tapang Secondary School, Siem Reap.  The school has 313 students, (165 girls and 148 boys). It was earmarked as one of the four schools to be part of the project thanks to a Rotary District 9800 Foundation International Grant.
 
His Excellency Neth Pheakdai, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, officially switched on the taps. Keilor East President Deb Sloggett and Aviv Palti, President of Passport Melbourne; alongside fellow Rotarians Cherrie Osborn, Helen Penna, Maria Hicks, and Jess Palti; with special guest, Hazel, from Rotary International Foundation. CRST Project Manager, Pov; student leaders; and representatives of Clear Water Cambodia and Engineers Without Borders were all in attendance. 
  
The purpose of the official launch was to announce to the school and community the water was ready to be used.  As our project partner CRST commented, “thank you for being part of the mission to provide clean, safe drinking water to students and community around the school”.
 
There are three more schools to complete this wonderful partnership project with the Rotary Foundation.  The water filtration system at the second school, Techo Hun Sen Angkor Thom High School, is nearly ready to be opened. This school has 1518 students, (921 girls and 597 boys).  
 
It was a thrill to visit the school, check on the progress and talk to the principal who was delighted with what was being achieved for the students and community. This school has also been earmarked for a toilet block with thanks to a Rotary Foundation District Grant International.
Why did we undertake this project?  Cambodian young people deserve a brighter future and education is the key for lasting change. Lack of access to clean water and toilets is a problem particularly affecting girls as they are often prevented from attending school due to inadequate toilet facilities. Unclean water is also putting children and families at risk. The project aligns with the Rotary focus on Providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene - and we are making it happen! In essence, having access to clean water and decent sanitation and knowledge regarding hygiene are essential to reduce poverty. 
 
Thank you to all those who are supporting this project financially and with expertise. Having great support means an efficient, effective and well respected project. We wish to acknowledge the Rotary Foundation, Rotary Club of Altona City and Rotary Australia World Community Service (Project No 94-2020-2021). 
 
The four schools are just the beginning. There is more work to be done to make it happen for another 50 schools. Contact keiloreastrotary@gmail.com for further information