The Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra gathered on the patio of Treylor Park restaurant in Nocatee on March 22 to commemorate World Water Day. To celebrate, the group marked the end of a fundraising effort for clean water filters in Cambodia. This effort resulted in a contribution of $7,000 to the Rotary-sponsored Water for Cambodia project.
“Through our club’s efforts 87 additional bio-sand water filters will be installed in the Siem Reap region of Cambodia, and will help over 435 needy villagers there,” President of the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Ian Aguilar said at the gathering.
Approximately 15 Rotarians from Nocatee and Bartram Trail were in attendance to applauded the news.
Rotary International set up the Water for Cambodia project in Siem Reap after local health officials requested help there. At that point, more than one out of every 10 children under the age of 5 was dying due to clean water issues like malaria, diarrhea and respiratory diseases. Through the leadership of Rotarian Gunther Hausen, now deceased, the minds and hearts and funding capabilities of Rotary were enlisted to take strong action.
Water for Cambodia relies heavily on locally made bio-sand filters that require no electricity and last for many years. Dirty water is filtered through three layers of sand and gravel, coming out on the other end with very few bacteria and no parasites. The filters are periodically tested by a project-owned water lab in the area to make sure they’re working properly.
Water for Cambodia has been blessed over the years by a string of global grants from the Rotary Foundation, and that strong support continues. There are now over 25,000 family filters in use in the Siem Reap section of Cambodia, serving over 125,000 villagers. Each filter costs about $80 to produce and serves about five people per filter.