When we set out to raise money to provide clean water for a very remote Cambodian village we knew there would be many challenges. We thought one of the biggest challenges would be raising the money needed to complete the project - but it wasn't. The unbelievably generous project donors donated all the required funds in just 3 days.
Digging wells in a remote Cambodian village has been more challenging than we expected. Roun Village is approximately 350km from Phnom Penh which sounds close by the standards of developed countries with good, uncongested highways but, here in Cambodia, it can take as long as 11 hours to get there from the capital. This puts it beyond the reach of many charities and NGOs who operate here in Cambodia which is one of the reasons we chose it as the first project.
As we reported, the digging of the first well has been completed but it is not producing the amount of water we hoped for and expected. The depth and extremely difficult soil conditions have ruled out continuing manual digging at that site. Unfortunately, no one, including the well contractor could have foreseen this happening. We will continue to investigate what options are available to remediate the well.
After discussion with all parties including the Village Chief, it was decided that we couldn't risk digging the second well at our originally intended location and a new site was chosen for the second well that is still within the village boundary but some distance away from the dwellings. This was our best choice given our limited options.
Digging commenced at the newly selected site for Well 2 a week ago and we are very happy to report that, at a depth of five meters, the well is already producing copious amounts of water. All of us including the Village Chief are very happy and relieved. With water at shoulder height, the well contractor is today pumping the water out of the well in order that his crew can dig a little deeper to allow for the fact that the water table will be lower during the dry months.