Dear friends and partners,
Water is a gift of life – it gives life to our bodies, nourishes our fields and allows life for our animals. We had the rare privilege of watching a well being dug in Svay Rieng. In all honesty, these men are my heroes! We have the option of using wells dug mechanically – a very costly proposal as wells are charged by the meter, $15 per meter and makes the cost unstable and untenable.
Our project well drillers have been with us for the past 15 years – men so very experienced with the quality of the soil, the potential quality of water being dug for and they dig for the one price of $250.00 USD – a price agreed on for the past 15 years. They can normally do one and half wells per day.
The process is begun by selecting the site of the well and the needs for the water – field use, home use and animal husbandry/fish ponds. The well is dug by an iron auger and pipes turned by hand. As water begins to seep out of the hole, the men check the soil for its quality for only a certain type of soil will guarantee quality and supply of water. Once this water table is found, (usually 50 meters) – 6-inch PVC pipes are inserted in the hole capped by a flange and hooked up to a motor which will insure sufficient water supply for the needs of up to 5 families. These men love the work, love our families and understand their needs, understand all of us at Tabitha Cambodia. In so many ways we are family. What a lovely few hours we spent together
Then we backtracked a few kilometers to the beginning of the village – a village I visited shortly before I left Cambodia due to the Covid pandemic 2 years ago. At that time, the fields were all fallow, a personal irritation I harbour because fallow fields mean poverty for our families. Water changes this. Our Svay Rieng staff, like all our project staff, requested wells so that life bearing food could be grown year-round.
The village was transformed from thatch shacks to houses built of wood, tin, cement – triple their former size because what we saw was more than 400 hectares of land under rice cultivation, a gold mine of income and food sufficiency. In every project, this sight of once fallow fields bearing life giving food brings joy to my soul and prosperity to our families. Whether water is used to grow rice or vegetable/fruit plantations or used to raise fish and pigs – all of it brings new life to our families.
I thank my God for each of you who have stood and still stand with us as partners in supplying water to our families. I thank my God for our well drillers, men so very skilled and so delighted to do this work. I thank my God for our Tabitha staff who fully understand the impact of water on our families. It is so very good!