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Koh Rong Charity Project

Koh Rong lies off Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s largest port. 2500 people live on the palm fringed island. Fish provide the main source of protein as poor soils and a lack of flat land inhibit rice cultivation.

The island is also vulnerable to many of the effects of climate change. Rising sea levels, changing weather patterns and increases in water temperature, have a major impact on the lives of the islanders, the surrounding reef and mangrove systems.

The village of Daem Thkov, with a population of 420, now runs out of water every year, sometimes as early as October and sometimes as late as January.

Well water is used for showering, washing clothes and dishes and it is also boiled and drunk by many of the poorer families in the village. All but a very small percentage of the water used by the villagers is rainwater whether from the wells or other means, such as the water catchment system.

For the past two years volunteers working with Reach Out Volunteers Pty Ltd have been active on the surrounding reefs removing lost fishing nets and other pollution and re-establishing fish breeding areas that have been devastated by destructive fishing techniques, overfishing and poor waste management techniques.

As well as these achievements, volunteers have constructed a garbage disposal facility, refurbished the local medical clinic and constructed a covered play area for the local children.

Reach Out Volunteers Charity Limited is now working with the local villagers to build water catchments on the island to store the abundant rainfall during the wet season and utilise it during the dry season.

The water catchment system will consist of 18m x 4m x 2m blocks sectioned into 16 interior compartments to help alleviate stress from the outer walls The systems will be strategically placed on a hill top above the village and have the advantage of gathering water from the large rooftop of the play area built by the volunteers. The water will be gravity fed to the village below.

Each of these catchment systems will hold between 110,000-115,000 liters of water. Ideally there will be 4 water stations fed by the large catchments uphill at strategic locations making it easier for all villagers to make use of them. We estimate that each catchment will cost $4,000.00 which covers all transport and material costs as well as the hire of local laborers and tradespeople.

The amount required for the four catchments will be $16,000.00 AUD.

The village well in the dry season
Foundations for playground retaining wall
Completed playground with metal roof for rain catchment
Volunteers moving cement to the work site.
Moving materials from the boat
Retaining wall for playground
Transporting bricks to the work site
Water from the roof of the playground falls directly into the catchment
Working with the local bricklayer
Building plans
The sole creek on the island
Two islanders working on the playground project
Bricks off-loaded from a boat
First stage of a catchment project
Catchment project
Outlet from the new catchment
New village water fountain supplying water from catchment sits beside the old well

Reach Out Volunteers:
Changing the world, one village at a time.