Water, it’s a simple thing in our lives, but its something that we take for granted, and something that many people go without. We need it to survive, to earn an income and to maintain our general health and well being, yet some people go without. This seems crazy to me, I grew up with clean drinking water, running water to bath in and to play in on hot days in the summer time, but some people do without. When you think about it, water is the single most important thing in our lives, but that’s the thing we don’t think about because we have always had it. For some people, however, water is always on their mind, where they are going to get it, if there will be enough and how they will survive without it. Many communities in Cambodia have never seen running water, some have to walk miles just to get a bucket of water for the day and some do not have any sources of water and go without.
Smey the manager in the village we were in, explained that prior to the wells, the village relied on the nearby stream for all of their water, drinking and otherwise. The hot temperatures here, however, have had a hand in slowly drying up the stream at various times throughout the year. The villagers would then not have the opportunity to plant crops for sale or to eat themselves, as they needed to save the water for drinking and bathing.
Water and the Tabitha saving program and the wisdom they inspire in the people participating have in a lot of ways opened these people up to new opportunities and a much better way of living. In this area irrigation wells have had a huge impact, but walking through the village and seeing family wells you can see just how much more these families are benefiting from something as simple as water. Families work hard and save over many cycles to acquire a family well. More so Smey noted the process of applying for the well, the family must first set buying a well as one of their dreams that they are working towards and show that they are truly working for it, but they must also explain why they need the well and what they plan to do with it. For many villagers, saving for a well opens them up to many more dreams and possibilities.
With readily available water, they are able to support life not just the life and wellbeing of themselves and their children but the life of livestock and a small garden, which leads them to another source of income. One family had a full pen of chickens and in asking who owned the well, the team responded that it didn’t really matter because water is such a scarcity that the villagers usually work together and share what they have saved so long for. A well in a community means for many that they don’t have to go without drinking water and that they can make a decent income to provide for their families.
Something like water that is so commonplace in my life that I often don’t think about it is the main worry and main source of income for thousands of people in Cambodia. More so it brings communities together creating an expended family and a common understanding between families within a village, this is evident in the kindness and comradery present in the village I visited.
How good is that! I thank my GOD for all the wonderful blessings of water given to Tabitha families which my niece saw with her own eyes.