• Lara Ahmad, Staff Reporter

Cambodian villages to get clean water under UAE humanitarian project

Programme comes as part of ‘20by2020’ project under Zayed Sustainability Prize

Thousands of people across three Cambodian villages can now live safer, healthier lives following the deployment of new water purifying technology as part of ‘20by2020’, a Zayed Sustainability Prize’s UAE-driven humanitarian initiative.

After the most recent installation of solar powered light systems in vulnerable communities in Egypt and Jordan, the initiative has progressed with five water fountains, benefiting the 4,400 residents of the Chhnok Trou, Kampong Phrah and Ses Salab villages in Cambodia. In Cambodia, the provision of clean drinking water remains a major challenge; more than 3 million people lack access to safe water and 6 million lack access to improved sanitation.

Avoid diseases

Due to the instalment of the water ultra-filtration solution, organised by the 20by2020 initiative, the village communities, along with the Chhnok Trou school and clinic, have access to clean and safe water for the first time. Not only does this gives residents an option for avoiding many of the waterborne diseases and other health issues stemming from dirty water, it will offer new opportunities for better hygiene, an essential requirement given the importance of handwashing in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

20by2020’s support has seen yet another community benefit from “life-saving” technology. In Cambodia, the solution deployed has been developed by Safe Water Cube, a French company that was a Zayed Sustainability Prize finalist in 2019 under the Water Category. The technology deployment in Cambodia makes surface water drinkable (from rivers and ponds) by removing viruses and bacteria that cause diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera and hepatitis, from up to 1,000 litres of water per hour with no energy or maintenance required, and no chemicals used.

Humanitarian work

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and director-general of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “By streamlining efforts with the 20by2020 partners to achieve a more sustainable world, we can extend the impact of the inspiring humanitarian and international development vision of the UAE’s founding father, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, while reinforcing the country’s role in humanitarian aid and progress towards sustainability.”

Delivering this impactful work across the world is the main objective of 20by2020, a UAE initiative led by the Zayed Sustainability Prize in partnership with Abu Dhabi Global Market, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Mubadala Petroleum, Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence and Masdar.

Lim Kean Hor, Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology of Cambodia and chairman of the Tonle Sap Authority of the Royal Government of Cambodia, said: “We welcome the 20by2020 initiative whose contribution meets one of the strategic objectives of the Tonle Sap Authority to improve access to safe drinking water in the remote areas around the Tonle Sap Great Lake.”

About Zayed Sustainability Prize

Established by the UAE leadership in 2008 to honour the legacy of the founding father, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Zayed Sustainability Prize is the UAE’s global award for recognising sustainability and humanitarian solutions around the world.

Over the past 12 years, the prize has awarded 86 winners. Collectively, they have directly and indirectly, positively impacted the lives of over 335 million people around the world. The Zayed Sustainability Prize categories are: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.

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