Cambodia: Living a Better and More Climate-Resilient Life Next to the Mekong River


Than in front of the batch tank that connects the pump and the main pipe. 

Sem Sarem is 48 years old. She is married and has 3 children. She lives in Kampong Damrei, Boeung Char Commune, Sambour District, Kratie Province. Than Sophat, 30 years old, married and 2 children, also lives in Kampong Damrei, a village that is located at the western banks of the Mekong River. 

Despite living next to one of the largest rivers in the world, lack of water is, absurdly, one of the core problems of the community. In addition, the community has increasingly suffered from prolonged drought throughout the last years.  Both, Sem and Than, live on rice farming, vegetable gardening, pig and cow rearing.




They have benefitted through the installation of a solar-powered water pumping system and training on management and maintenance of the same as well as training and learning activities on vegetable gardening by the project implemented by the Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT). As a result, they have seen significant improvements in their ability to grow and sell vegetables and use Mekong water for irrigation and domestic use. Previously, villagers used the Mekong water only for domestic consumption, using it for irrigation was too labour-intensive and for the ones that own smaller pumps themselves also considerably more expensive. 

I am the accountant of the water user committee that manages the water system installed by the project. Sometimes I am also helping with repairs of the system, as long as my technical skills are sufficient to do so.

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