Children from Lampang village are having fun filling water bottles. Read how clean water is transforming the lives of an entire community in Thailand!
Children from Lampang village in Thailand having fun filling water bottles.
“The installation of the water filters has had a huge impact on our lives and I have seen a significant change in the energy levels and health condition of my children."
Read how clean water is transforming the lives of an entire community in Thailand!
After World Vision’s installed water filter systems in Lampang village in Thailand, Mrs. Chanpen saw a significant difference in her children. She is the mother of three: Staff, 12, Satang, 9, and Stamp, 5.
“The installation of the water filters has had a huge impact on our lives and I have seen a significant change in the energy levels and health condition of my children,” she says.
Agricultural chemicals were introduced to Lampang’s rice farming industry 10 years ago, but the community had very little knowledge of how to properly dispose of the toxic waste. In return, this caused damage to the environment as well as the health of the villagers. The toxic waste would flow into the community’s water pipes, causing the water to have murky sediments and a rusty smell. This made the community’s water unsafe to drink.
Left with no other choice, Mrs. Chanpen recounts, “We had to buy drinking water at a high price, which we couldn’t afford.” But since World Vision was already a trusted entity in development work in the area, the concerned community members approached World Vision for support.
Mr. Titipan Kadtala, World Vision’s coordinator of the Lampang community explains: “We approached the problem in a holistic manner.” First, World Vision had the water tested to confirm that it was unfit for human consumption. We then provided the Sribunrueng village with a water filtration system. This was followed by a threefold training exercise which included: to identify business opportunities in the clean water industry, to encourage and support the villagers in organic farming, and to provide awareness training to non-organic farmers to change their behavior, especially in the disposal of chemical waste. These courses ensure the sustainability of our work in the Lampang district.”
In addition to providing the community with potable water, World Vision supported the community in establishing a bottling plant, which now allows them to sell clean drinking water. “Sribunrueng” has now become a bottled water brand and is managed by the Sribunrueng savings group. It has a membership of 128 people with 140 families benefiting, of which 72 have children sponsored through World Vision.
Mr. Utai Maneewan, pioneer of the Sribunrueng water plant, elaborates: “World Vision provided 185,700 Baht (US$6,190) to install a water filter and to provide all necessary training. This project helped to reduce our family expenses. Since World Vision came into our sub-district, parents have gained additional livelihoods and children have gained better education opportunities. The quality of life has clearly improved. They helped us to reach our goal, and we want to expand the project into a community enterprise.”
Soon after the first success, World Vision persuaded four other villages to form similar groups. By 2010, World Vision had helped set up bottling groups in seven sub-districts! Children in the community can now attend school with access to clean water from the installed filter systems.
Mr. Kadtala concludes, “Lampang’s highest goal is to support the well-being of children and ensure that children’s rights are respected, especially in terms of health care, education, protection, and participation.”
Clean water is the foundation to a healthy life.
By Somluck Khamsaen
(Photo: 2014 Somluck Khamsaen/World Vision)
Without access to clean water, preventable diseases take the lives of many people, especially children. More than 1,600 under the age of 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by unsafe water – that’s more than AIDS and malaria combined!
World Vision takes a holistic approach to community development, and clean water forms the building blocks of many of our efforts. As one of the largest providers of clean water in the developing world, World Vision reaches a new person with clean water every 30 seconds!