Drinking water supplies and quality in the poor settlements

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					  Drinking water supplies and quality
in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh,
               Cambodia


           Case study of the five villages

   101, Drei Kro Horm, Prek Taroth, Kob Kong and
                  Trapeang Chork




                      Ulla Heinonen

              Laboratory of Water Resources
             Helsinki University of Technology
                       January 2005
          Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh




Study Team


Participatory Field Studies

• Mr Yim Sambo, Ministry of Rural Development
• Mrs Noy Pok, Fisheries Development
• Mr Meas Kimseng, Urban Resource Centre (URC)
• Mrs Ulla Heinonen, Helsinki University of Technology (TKK)


Water Quality Testing

•   Mrs Ulla Heinonen, Helsinki University of Technology (TKK)
•   Resource Development International Cambodia (RDIC)


Report Writing

•   Mrs Ulla Heinonen, Helsinki University of Technology (TKK)
•   Mr Yim Sambo, Ministry of Rural Development



For comments and questions please contact ulla.heinonen@tkk.fi




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             Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


                                          Table of contest


Introduction .............................................................................................. 4

Objective of the field study .......................................................................... 4

Methodology .............................................................................................. 4

The study villages ...................................................................................... 5

101 village ................................................................................................ 6
  Water .................................................................................................... 7
  Sanitation, drainage and garbage collection................................................ 7
  Drinking water quality.............................................................................. 8

Drei Kro Horm ........................................................................................... 8
  Water .................................................................................................... 9
  Sanitation, drainage and garbage collection................................................ 9
  Drinking water quality.............................................................................. 9

Prek Taroth Village ................................................................................... 10
  Water .................................................................................................. 10
  Sanitation, drainage and garbage collection.............................................. 11
  Drinking water quality............................................................................ 11

Kob Kong Village ...................................................................................... 11
  Water .................................................................................................. 12
  Sanitation, drainage and garbage collection.............................................. 13
  Drinking water quality............................................................................ 13

Trapeang Chork Village ............................................................................. 14
  Water .................................................................................................. 14
  Sanitation, drainage and garbage collection.............................................. 15
  Drinking water quality............................................................................ 15

Conclusions ............................................................................................. 15

Recommendations .................................................................................... 17

References .............................................................................................. 19

Annex 1 .................................................................................................. 20




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          Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


INTRODUCTION

In developing countries, an estimated four-fifth of all diseases and over 30 per
cent of deaths are caused by consumption of contaminated water. In many of
these countries over one-tenth of the inhabitant’s productive time is additionally
sacrificed to water-related diseases such as diarrhoea. The health-related
problems and fatal diseases are often result of bacteriological or chemical
contamination of drinking water. At present, over one billion people, mostly in
developing countries, lack access to safe water supply and 2.6 billion live without
adequate sanitation. In addition, the higher price of water from secondary
sources like private vendors reduce poor inhabitants water use and thus impair
their health (WHO 1997).

In the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, over 70 per cent of the poor
residents do not have access to piped water supply (ACHR 2003). These
inhabitants use secondary water sources, which are not reliable, cost-effective or
healthy. Most of the dwellers that do not have access to piped water supply buy
water from private vendors. In this case, water is not often properly treated and
it is more costly than from other sources. Households that supply their water
from surface and groundwater sources with a smaller price, conversely, often
expose themselves on disease vectors - pathogens, heavy metals and other
chemicals. Problems with water quality can also be seen in households that use
piped water. In this case, the problems are often, however, directed from poor
storage or piping.

OBJECTIVE OF THE FIELD STUDY

Lack of safe water, water supply deficiencies and shortage of information about
the state of the water supplies and water related problems in the slum areas of
Phnom Penh are evident. Due to the information gap, this study examines the
poor settlements of the city and focuses particularly on water supplies, water
use, sanitation, drinking water quality, cost of water, and water related health
problems.

This study aims to understand the water related problems in Phnom Penh’s poor
residents and to optimise inhabitant’s water use in a cost-effective, and healthy
way.

METHODOLOGY

Information presented in this report is based on the five focus group discussions
(semi-structured interviews), which took place in 101, Drei Kro Horm, Prek
Taroth, Kob Kong and Trapeang Chork villages in Phnom Penh during January
2005. The focus group discussions were facilitated by Mr Yim Sambo and Mrs
Noy Pok and focused on water supplies, water use, sanitation, drinking water
quality and health problems. Mrs Ulla Heinonen (TKK) and Mr Meas Kimseng
(URC) acted as observers in the discussions.

The focus group discussions were organised by the village chief of each village
with help of Mr Meas Kimseng from Urban Resource Centre. Each of the five
discussions had around twenty participants (villagers). The discussions started
with “village walk” where the participants of the exercise showed the major


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         Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


water sources to the study team. After the walk the participants conducted a
visualisation exercise, where the villagers together with the study team outlined
a map of the water sources and sanitation in the village. The map acted as an
informative discussion tool in the subsequent discussion.

The water quality of the villager’s main drinking water supplies was tested after
the discussions together with the field team of the Resource Development
International Cambodia. The samples were tested in the laboratory of the
organisation in Kandal, Cambodia (Annex 1).




               Figure 1. Drawing village map in the Kob Kong village.

THE STUDY VILLAGES

The five study villages (101, Drei Kro Horm, Prek Taroth, Kob Kong and
Trapeang Chork) were chosen to this study to represent the plethora of poor
communes in Phnom Penh and their water related problems. The villages are
located in the different sides of Phnom Penh - from peri-urban area to the city
centre (Figure 2). The study villages differ also by their drinking water sources.
The water sources vary from piped water to surface water.




   Figure 2. The study villages are located in Boung Kak II, Tonle Bassac, Russei
                    Kaev, Cham Chaa and Prey Veang communes.




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               Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh




                       Table 1.           Basic information of the study villages

     Village         Location      Pop.   Families              Occupations                        Earnings           Migrants
      101          Boeung Kak II   222       68            trading, moto-taxi drivers         250 000 riels/family/      All
                     Toul Kork                                pay labour, waiters                    month
  Drei Kro Horm    Tonle Bassac             920            trading, moto-taxi drivers         300 000 riels/family/      100
                   Chamkarmon                                 pay labour, waiters                    month            families
   Prek Taroth      Prek Tasek     1024     228         dry season cultivation, fishing       200 000 riels/family/      No
                   Russei Kaev                                trading, pay labour                    month
   Kob Kong        Cham Chaa       445       78           wet season rice cultivation         200 000 riels/family/   7 families
                     Dangkor                               livestock raising, trading                month
 Trapeang Chork     Prey Veng      604      118           wet season rice cultivation         200 000 riels/family/      No
                     Dangkor                         trading, pay labour, moto-taxi drivers          month




101 VILLAGE

101 village is located in the city centre of Phnom Penh in the commune of
Boeung Kak II in the Toul Kork district. The population in the village is 222 and
almost half of the inhabitants in the village are infants. The village is located on
public land on railroad line. The nearest accessible schools are Pagoda Neak
Kavorn Primary School (300 m) and Emtarak Teavy Gollege (1 km). In addition,
English literacy classes are organised in the village by support of the Ministry of
Education.




                      Figure 3. The 101 village is located on railroad line.

Average monthly income in the 101 village is around 250 000 riels per family (~
63 US$). Most of the villagers are involved in small-scale trading, moto-taxi
driving, pay labour or service sector activities. The villagers are all rural-migrants
and most of them moved to the city in the 1980s when the village was formed
up from rural Cambodian migrants. Since this boom, the migration to the village
has been relatively marginal - two families moved to village in 2004 from
Meatakeap commune.

The Urban Sector Group health centre is the nearest health centre for the
villagers in the 101 village. Payments for treatments in this centre are 500 riels
for adults and 200 riels for infants. In addition, the health centre gives health
education and vaccinations to the villagers. The most common water related



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          Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


diseases in the village are: dysentery, visceral pain, diarrhoea and dengue fewer
(infants). The most serious and fatal sicknesses in the last years have been
related to diarrhoea (a year ago one children died) and dengue (infants).

Water
The 101 village has a piped water supply and 60 families (from total 68 families)
have piped water with house connection. The eight families, which do not have
connection, buy water from their neighbours. The piped water system was built
in 2003 together with the village community, Urban Resource Centre (URC) and
Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA). The eight families, which do not
have connection, did not have the initial capital at the construction time and thus
could not get the connection.

The monthly water use per family is approximately 12 cubic meters, which is on
average 80 litres per person per day. The villagers that do not have piped water
connection use remarkably less water – only around 10 litres per person per day.
The families with water connection pay less than one third (1 500 riels/m3) of
that the families without connection (5 000 riels/m3).

The families with water connection use monthly around 18 000 riels (~ 4.5 US$)
to water, which is around seven per cent of their monthly income. The families,
that buy water from their neighbours, use remarkably less water than the
families with piped water connection but still pay monthly approximately 10 000
riels (~ 2.5 US$), which is more than the seven percent of their monthly income.
Rainwater harvesting is also commonly used method in rainy seasons and so the
water use of the villagers is higher in reality.

Around 90 per cent of the families boil their drinking water but the rest do not
use any treatment. The villagers store water into traditional jars in the mornings
and keep water in the jars in the sunlight at least two hours before drinking. The
jars are often enclosed but cover is often insufficient.




                              Figure 4. Traditional jars

Sanitation, drainage and garbage collection
Eighteen households have in-house built toilets. Other fifty families, which do not
have toilets, stool to sewage canal behind their houses. The sewage canal is also
used as a drainage canal, and it leads to Boeung Rang Ley Lake. The human
waste from toilets as well as some garbage is additionally directed to the canal,
even though the village has garbage collection (1 000 riels/month). Especially, in




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         Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


rainy seasons the canal gives very offensive odours and acts as a breeding place
for mosquitoes.

Drinking water quality
Drinking water quality in the 101 village is rather good. Water quality tests show
that the chemical and bacteriological quality of the piped drinking water is
adequate. Iron concentration in one sample (1 mg/l), however, was higher than
the Cambodian standard (0.3 mg/l), which can be a result of unsatisfactory
piping systems.

The samples from containers (jars), nevertheless, showed problems with
bacterial contamination. Drinking water should not have coliform bacteria or E.
coli but these were present in the water tests taken from the jars. Bacteria were
not found from the piped water but were present in the container and thus the
bacterial contamination has apparently occurred during storing.

Proposals for improvement:
   • Boiling of water at least 15 minutes kills bacteria. At present, around 10
      per cent of the families do not boil their drinking water and thus abuse
      themselves on bacterial diseases. Boiling of water should be done even
      though the drinking water is taken from the piped water system because
      inadequate storing practises may lead to bacterial contamination of
      drinking water.
   • Storing drinking water before drinking reduces the content of solid matters
      and in this case iron.
   • Animals should be kept away from the drinking water jars.
   • Proper storing methods are needed (e.g. cover needs to be adequate,
      leakages needs to be fixed, hosepipes should be kept clean and off the
      ground, water intake needs to be done only by clean water scoop, washing
      hands on the drinking water jar is not aloud).

DREI KRO HORM

Drei Kro Horm village is situated in the city centre of Phnom Penh in the
commune of Tonle Bassac in the Chamkarmon district and populates 920
families. The village is located on free public land on the bank of the Tonle
Bassac River and thus allures migrants. In 2000, 100 families migrated to Drei
Kro Horm village from Ruessei Kaev (Amlang Kragmant), Prey Veang and Takeo.

Villager’s average monthly income is around 300 000 riels (~ 75 US$) per family
and the main sources of income are small-scale trading, moto-taxi driving, and
wage working. The nearest school in Drei Khro Horm is Sothearos Primary School
(500 m) and the Sisowath High School (2 km). Drei Kro Horm has a private
nurse, who takes care of the villagers’ primary health care. Vaccinations etc.
have to be taken in the Chamkarmon (2 km) Health Centre. Health education is
not, however, available in the village. The most common water related health
problems are: dysentery, visceral pain, diarrhoea and dengue fewer (infants).
Diarrhoea and dengue fewer (infants) have been fatal diseases in the last years.




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          Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh




       Figure 5. Drinking water jars laying on the alley in the Drei Kro Horm.

Water
The Drei Kro Horm village has piped water supply. The piped water connection
was arranged in 2003 together with the village community, Urban Resource
Centre (URC) and Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA). However,
majority of the families (808 families) in the village did not have the initial
capital for connection at the construction time and thus do not have piped water
connection.

The villagers in Drei Kro Horm use monthly on average 6 cubic meters of water
per family, which is around 40 litres per person per day. The families that do not
have connection use less water than the families with water connection. The 112
families, which have piped water connection pay around 9 000 riels (1 500
riels/m3) to water every month, which is around 10 per cent of their monthly
income. The 800 families that do not have piped water connection buy water
from private vendor and pay remarkably more to water than the other families (5
000 riels/m3). In rainy seasons the water use is higher because villagers harvest
rainwater.

Around 95 per cent of the families boil their drinking water. However, the rest 5
per cent do not use any treatment for their drinking water. Villagers store water
into the traditional jars in the mornings and keep water in the jars at least half a
day before drinking. The jars are mainly covered but there are often deficiencies
in the cover.

Sanitation, drainage and garbage collection
All the families in the village have inside toilets (920 toilets). The village do not
have drainage canal and thus in rainy seasons floodwater brings wastewater up
from the toilets. The village has a garbage collection (2 000 riels/month) and
most of the villagers use this service.

Drinking water quality
The drinking water quality in Drei Kro Horm is adequate. No chemical or
bacteriological contamination was found. Problems in storing, however, were
found.

Proposals for improvement:



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          Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


   •   More careful storage systems and covering methods are needed:
       hosepipes should be kept clean and off from ground or animal excrements,
       jars should be properly covered and animals should be kept away from the
       storage systems, only waterscoops should be used when taking water,
       hands should not be washed in the drinking water jars.

PREK TAROTH VILLAGE

Prek Taroth village is located in the Prek Ta Sek commune in the Russei Kaev
district. The village is located in the shores of the Tonle Sap River around 15
kilometres from the city centre. The village has a population of 1 024 (228
families) and because its location it has not attracted migrants.

Villagers’ average monthly income is around 200 000 riels (~ 50 US$) per family.
Dry season rice cultivation, fishing, trading and paid work offer the main source
of income for the villagers. Prek Taroth has a primary school and a private nurse.
The nearest health centre, which offers vaccinations and health education for the
villagers, is located in the Prek Ta Sek commune. The most common water
related diseases in the village are: dysentery, visceral pain, diarrhoea and
dengue fewer (infants). In the last years, the fatal diseases have been mostly
related to dengue fewer (infants).

Water
The Prek Taroth village do not have piped water connection and the main water
source for the villagers is the Tonle Sap River. The villagers use surface water
from the river for household consumption as well as for drinking. Most of the
families carry water from the river but around 50 families (from 228) use
pumping systems, which costs 6 000 riels per cubic meter. All the families bath
into the river and harvest rainwater in rainy seasons. Villagers use approximately
60 litres of water per family per day for household use.




                  Figure 6. The water point in Prek Taroth village.

The villagers of Prek Taroth criticised the water quality in the Tonle Sap River.
Villagers said that in wet seasons red sediment flows from upper Mekong and
Tonle Sap River and in dry seasons human waste flows from the nearby villages
deteriorate the water quality of the river and thereby the drinking water of the
villagers.

Around 40 per cent of the villagers boil their drinking water, but majority do not.
Villagers store water into traditional jars in the mornings and keep water in the



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          Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


jars in the sunlight at least half a day before drinking. The jars are mainly
covered but often the covers are inadequate.

Sanitation, drainage and garbage collection
There are only five toilets in the village. Most of the families (223 families) do not
have toilets and stool to the river or to the fields behind their houses. The
villagers dispose garbage by burning or throwing it into the Tonle Sap River.

Prek Taroth village is flooded in rainy seasons. There is no drainage system in
the village and solid wastes are often directed to the river.

Drinking water quality
Drinking water quality in the Prek Taroth village is not good. The iron content in
the water is higher (0.6 mg/l) than the Cambodian Standards (0.3mg/l). The
high iron concentration is due to the ferrous red sediment from the upper
Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. Fortunately, iron content reduces when the solid
matters settle down when keeping water in the container.

Bacterial contaminations both in the river and in the container water were found.
Total coliforms and E.coli bacteria should not be present in drinking water,
however, the bacterial contaminations were very high in the samples; River:
Total coliforms 6 000 and E.coli 400; Container: Total coliforms 2 000 and E.coli
600. This water should not be consumed without boiling.

Proposals for improvement:
   • Boiling of water at least 15 minutes kill bacteria. At present, around 60 per
      cent of the families do not boil their drinking water and thus they abuse
      themselves on bacterial diseases. Boiling of water should be done
      especially when using surface water that can be contaminated by human
      faeces and waste.
   • Storing drinking water before drinking reduces the content of solid matters
      and in this case iron. Even though storing of water reduces solid particles
      and thus also some bacteria, it do not remove all bacteria and is not
      adequate treatment for this kind off surface water.

KOB KONG VILLAGE

Kob Kong village is located in the Cham Chaa commune in the Dankor District.
The village is located along the National road three fifteen kilometres from the
city centre. Population in the village is 445 (78 families). The village has
attracted few migrants because of the agricultural work opportunities. In 2001, 7
families migrated to the village from Phnom Penh.

Average monthly income in the Kob Kong village is around 200 000 riels (~ 50
US$) per family. Main occupations for the villagers are wet season rice
cultivation, livestock raising and trading.

There is no school or health centre in Kob Kong. Nearest schools are the Prey
Speu Primary School (3 km) and the Cham Pou Van College (3 km) and the
nearest health centre is located around 10 kilometres from the village. Private
nurse in the village takes care of the villagers’ primary health care but do not
give health education. Dysentery, visceral pain, diarrhoea, dengue fewer


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          Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


(infants), stomach disease and vomiting are the most common water related
diseases that hinder the health of the villagers. In the last years, the fatal
diseases have been related to dengue fewer (infants) and diarrhoea.

Water
The Kob Kong village do not have piped water connection and the eleven wells of
the village offer the main water supply. Seven of the wells are used for
household consumption four for drinking. Two of these, the 70 meters deep
wells, are private and water is sold also to other villagers.

The wells in the village dry up often in dry seasons and therefore villagers have
to bring water from the nearby pond or buy water from private vendors outside
the village. Rainwater harvesting is also common in the village.




                  Figure 7. Household well in the Kob Kong village.

Villager’s average monthly household consumption is around 18 cubic meters.
Daily use per person is thus around 120 litres. Villagers use around 90 000 riels
per family every month on water, which is around 40 per cent of their monthly
income. The price of the water, that is bought from the private vendor varies by
its source - 5 000 riels/m3 (well), 7 500 riels/m3 (piped), 12 500 riels/m3 (pond)
and 75 000 riels/m3 (tap). The most expensive tap water is only used for
drinking and cooking and one cubic meter is enough for two weeks for one
family.

Around 95 per cent of the villagers boil their drinking water. Villagers store their
water in the traditional jars in the mornings and keep water in jars in the
sunlight at least half a day before drinking. The jars are covered but there are
often deficiencies in the cover.




              Figure 8. Drinking water pond near the Kob Kong village.


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                         Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


Sanitation, drainage and garbage collection
There are 70 toilets in the village. The toilets are located behind the houses
about 20 meters from the water sources. The eight families that do not have
toilets defecate on the field behind the village.

The village do not have drainage system and wastewater is directed to the
toilets. Village do not have flood problems and they dispose garbage by burning.

Drinking water quality
Drinking water quality in the Kob Kong village is not adequate. The water
samples gave very high results of fluoride, iron, chloride, hardness and bacteria.

                                           Kob Kong village


                                      1.

                                                                                  Drill well /private
       National Road 3




                                                                                  Pump well /public


                                                                                  Household well
                                                              4.
                                      2.

                            3.




                                 Figure 9. Drinking water wells in the Kob Kong village.

Water from the pump well (Nro.1) is used for vending. The water from this well
has too high fluoride (>1.5 mg/l) and chloride (450 mg/l) contamination. In
addition, the water has high bacterium content (Total coliforms: 200, E.Coli:
440) contamination and hardness (376 ppm).

Public pump well (Nro.2) has too high fluoride (>1.5 mg/l), iron (1.1 mg/l) and
chloride (450 mg/l) contamination.

Water from the pump well (Nro.3) is also used for vending. The water from this
well has too high fluoride (>1.5mg/l) and iron (0.6 mg/l) contamination. In
addition, the hardness (340 ppm) is higher than the standards (300 ppm).

Water from public well (Nro.4) has problems with too high chloride (450 mg/l)
contamination and hardness (538 ppm).

Stored rainwater has high bacterial contamination (Total coliforms: 1 400, E.Coli:
20).

Pond water in both ponds is not adequate for drinking. The iron (0.3-0.5 mg/l),
chloride (97- 140,mg/l) and bacterial contamination (Total coliforms: 400 - 2
000, E.Coli: 0 - 40) is too high.



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          Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


Proposals for improvement:
   • Boiling of water at least 15 minutes kill bacteria. Water should be boiled
      particularly when using surface water (pond), which can be contaminated
      by excrements as well as when using water that is stored for long periods
      (rain water).
   • Storing drinking water before drinking is good for the water quality and
      reduces the content of solid matters and in this case iron.
   • The high concentration of fluoride poses a risk to human health and should
      be addressed by local authorities. The high concentration of fluoride
      (>1.5) carry an increasing risk of dental fluorosis and high concentrations
      lead to crippling skeletal fluorosis. Some studies show that high levels may
      result also to cancer (WHO, 1996).
   • The toilets are located too close to the wells and thus bacteria were found
      particularly in the pump well (Nro 1.).
   • The high chloride concentration may also be a result of wastewater contact
      (RIL, 1973), which could be dripped from the nearby garment factory.
      High chloride concentration does not, however, pose threat to health but
      inflict on taste.
   • Harvesting rainwater is a good way to increase water supply, however, the
      rainwater may gather pollution mostly from dusty surfaces. To reduce
      majority of the pollutants the first minutes of the rain “first flush” should
      not be collected (Niemczynowicz, 1999).
   • New water storage practises are needed because many samples taken
      from the jars give high bacterial results.

TRAPEANG CHORK VILLAGE

Trapeang Chork village is located at the Prey Veng commune in the Dankor
District. The village is located 24 kilometres from the city centre. The village is
located out of the city centre and is does not attract migrants. Population in the
village is 604 (118 families) and villager’s average monthly income is around 200
000 riels (~ 50 US$) per family. The main occupations are: wet season rice
cultivation, trading, paid labour and moto-taxi driving.

Nearest schools are located in the Prey Veng commune (Prey Veng Primary
School and Prey Veng College). The commune has also a health centre (Prey
Veng Health Centre) and treatments cost 500 to 1 000 riels per person. In
addition, district health centre gives vaccinations and health education for
villagers. The village has also a private nurse. Main water related health
problems in the village are dysentery, visceral pain, diarrhoea and dengue fewer
(infants). In the last years, dengue fewer has been fatal, particularly, for infants.

Water
There is no piped water connection in the Trapeang Chork village. The villagers
lean mainly on pond water and private vendors. There are totally four ponds in
the village; however, only one of them is used for drinking. In addition, villagers
harvest rainwater in rainy seasons.

Average monthly consumption per household is around 6 cubic meters and thus
the average daily water use is around 40 litres per person. Villagers spent
around 50 000 riels per month to water, which is around 25 per cent of their



                                                                                  14
          Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


monthly income. The water bought from private vendor costs around 8 300
riels/m3.

All the villagers boil their drinking water before consumption. Villagers store
water into traditional jars in the mornings and keep water in the jars before
drinking. The jars are frequently covered, however, there are often deficiencies
in the storing practises.

Sanitation, drainage and garbage collection
There are 30 toilets in the village. The families that do not have toilets (88) stool
to forest or rice field behind the village. There are three drainage canals in the
village (300 m) and wastewater is directed into the canals or to the toilets.
Villagers burn or compost their garbage.

Drinking water quality

Drinking water quality in the Trapeang Chork village is not adequate. The pond
water gave higher iron (0,5 mg/l) as well as bacteria (Total coliforms: 2 000,
E.Coli: 140) results than the standards allow (Fe: 0.3 mg/l). The water bought
from private vendor, conversely, has too high chloride and bacteria
contamination (CL: 315 mg/l and Total coliforms: 1 000). In addition, the
bacteria contamination in the container water was too high.

Proposals for improvement:
   • Boiling of water at least 15 minutes kill bacteria. Water should be boiled
      especially when using surface water (pond), which can be contaminated by
      excrements.
   • Storing drinking water before drinking is good for the water quality and
      reduces the content of solid matters and in this case iron.
   • High chloride concentration may be a result of wastewater contamination
      (RIL, 1973). High concentration of chloride does not, however, pose
      threat to health but inflict on taste.
   • Samples taken from the containers (jars) gave high bacterial results and
      thus new water storage practises are needed. Jars should be properly
      covered and animals should be kept away from the storage systems. Only
      waterscoops should be used when taking water from the jars and hands
      should not be washed over the drinking water jars.

CONCLUSIONS

The field studies conducted in 101, Drei Kro Horm, Prek Taroth, Kob Kong and
Trapeang Chork villages showed that there are many deficiencies in the water
supplies as well as the quality of the supplies in the poor settlements of Phnom
Penh. The situation seems to be worst in the peri-urban communities that do not
have piped water connection and lean on groundwater, surface water sources
and private vendors. The families in peri-urban communities pay also much more
on water than the families in the city centre – sometimes almost half of their
monthly income.

The peri-urban families did not, however, complained about the water prices
because they are able to grow subsistence food by recycling water. The villagers
in the city centre, who do not have piped water, on the contrary, felt frustrated


                                                                                  15
               Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


because of the high prices of water as well as inconsistent income. These families
use inadequate amount of water per day because of the three times higher water
prices compared to piped water, instable salaries and confined living space. The
situation with sanitation seems to be alike. Even though access to sanitation is
higher in the city centre than in the peri-urban areas, the problems are clearer in
the city centre’s packed slum areas due to the lack of drainage and storm water
disposal and tight dwelling stock.

                          Table 2.          The study villages and the water supplies

       Village                 101           Drei Kro          Prek Taroth           Kob Kong               Trapeang
                                              Horm                                                           Chork

  Main water supply           Piped             Piped          Surface water             Well,              Private,
                                                                                     Surface water        Surface water

Families without access       ~ 11 %           ~ 85 %             100 %                 100 %                100 %
 to safe water supply      (8/68 famil.)      (808/902         (228 families)        (78 families)        (118 families)
                                              families)

  Price of water with          1 500       1 500 riels / m3   0-6 000 riels/m3   5 000-75 000 riels /     8 300 riels / m3
connection (water rate       riels/m3         (~10 %)                               m3 (~ 40 %)              (~ 25 %)
 from monthly salary)         (~7 %)

Price of water without      5 000 riels/    5 000 riels/      0-6 000 riels/m3   5 000 – 75 000 riels /   8 300 riels / m3
     connection             m3 (> 7 %)      m3 (> 10 %)                              m3 (~ 40 %)             (~ 25 %)
         (-“-)
 Average daily water
use per person (litres)       10-80             10-40               >60                   120                   40

     Water quality             Good             Good                Bad                Moderate              Moderate

Typical health problems     Dysentery,      Dysentery,          Dysentery,       Dysentery, Visceral       Dysentery,
                             Visceral      Visceral pain,      Visceral pain,     pain, Diarrhoea,        Visceral pain,
                               pain,        Diarrhoea,          Diarrhoea,         Dengue fewer,           Diarrhoea,
                            Diarrhoea,     Dengue fewer        Dengue fewer      Stomach disease,         Dengue fewer
                             Dengue                                                   Vomiting
  Households with
 access to sanitation          26 %            100 %                2%                   90 %                  25%

   Health education            Yes               No           Yes (Commune)          Yes (District)        Yes (District)


The quality of the drinking water showed many deficiencies both in the city
centre and in the peri-urban areas. The surface water sources often used in the
outskirts of the city have frequently high bacteria and iron content. The
groundwater, also often used in the peri-urban areas, has too high fluoride, iron
and chloride concentrations. The water sold by private vendors is either always
reliably and the quality varies together with the source. Problems can be seen
also with the quality of rainwater and piped water. These problems are though
most often related to inadequate storing.

The overall findings from the drinking water quality in the study villages were
related to bacteria, fluoride and aesthetic quality of the water. Many tests
showed unsafe levels of bacteria and too high concentration of fluoride were
found in several sources. In addition, several exceedes were also found in the
aesthetic quality of water including iron, chloride, hardness and total dissolved
solids.

The main water related sicknesses in the study villages were dengue fewer,
dysentery, visceral pain and diarrhoea. Diarrhoea, visceral pain, dysentery are
directly connected to water quality problems. In many villages there are still


                                                                                                                            16
          Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


families that do not boil their drinking water. For example, only less than half of
the families in the Preak Tasek boil their drinking water even though they are
relying on surface water. This behaviour is mainly due to the lack of information,
motivation as well as the weakness to optimise their water use.

Problems with dengue fewer are directly related to the lack of sanitation. Almost
all the study villages do not have proper drainage or sanitation and most of the
villages are flooded in rainy seasons. In the rainy seasons, floodwater fills toilets
and brings wastewater into the houses. The garbage disposal is also problem in
many villages. Villagers dispose solid wastes into the drainage canals and thus
they harm the wastewater flow in the drainage canals.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Many of the drinking water quality tests showed unsafe levels of bacteria and too
high concentration of fluoride were found in several sources.                  These
contaminations pose a risk to human health and should be addressed by local
authorities. The high concentration of fluoride (>1.5) carry an increasing risk of
dental fluorosis and high concentrations lead to crippling skeletal fluorosis. Some
studies show that high levels may result also to cancer (WHO 1996).

The high bacteria contamination leads mostly to diarrhoeal diseases. Boiling of
water at least 15 minutes kills bacteria and should be done especially when using
surface water (pond), which can be contaminated by excrements as well as when
using water that is stored for a long period (rain water). Even though the results
from boiling are very good, many families in the villages do not boil drinking
water and thus they abuse themselves on bacterial diseases. Due to this lack,
the direct display of the connection and sickness of contaminated water is
needed. The villagers should be showed that in the longer run it would be
cheaper for them to boil their drinking water instead of buying medicine and
taking sick leave.

Storing drinking water before drinking affects positively on the water quality and
reduces the content of solid matters. Appropriate and clean storing methods are,
however, needed because too often stored water becomes contamineted with
bacteria.
   • Hosepipes should be kept clean and off from ground or animal
      excrements.
   • Jars should be properly covered and animals should be kept away from the
      storage systems.
   • Only waterscoops should be used when taking water from the jars.
   • Hands should not be washed in the drinking water jars.
   • Jars should be cleaned regularly and they should be unbroken.

Harvesting rainwater is a good way to increase water supply, however, the
rainwater may gather pollution mostly from dusty surfaces. To reduce majority of
the pollutants the first minutes of the rain “first flush” should not be collected
(Niemczynowicz, 1999).

In the village of Kob Kong the toilets are located too close to the water sources
and thus bacteria were found in the pump well. In this case, the relocation of the
toilets should be considered. The other wells in the village had also high chloride


                                                                                  17
         Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


concentration and conductivity, which may be a result of wastewater
contamination from the nearby garment factory. High concentration of chloride
does not pose threat to health but water quality should be observed regularly to
discover the potential new effluents and health risks from the factory.




                                                                             18
         Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh


REFERENCES

ACHR (2003), Phnom Penh: An information booklet of the city’s
development and the settlements of the urban poor, Asian Coalition for
Housing Rights, Phnom Penh.

Niemczynowich, J. (1999), Urban hydrology and water management –
present and future challenges, Urban Water, Vol.1, pp.1-14

RIL (1973), Vesihuolto, Suomen Rakennusinsinöörien liitto (RIL), Helsinki

WHO (1997), Guidelines for drinking-water quality, 2nd edition, Vol. 3:
Surveillance and control of community supplies, World Health Organisation,
Geneva.




                                                                            19
ANNEX 1

                                                                                  UTM 48p         F      Fe    Mn     CL     SO4
   Village       Commune           District     Province        Date
                                                                             UTM X     UTM Y     mg/l   mg/l   mg/l   mg/l   mg/l
                                                                                                 1,5    0,3    0,1    250    250
   Kob Kong        Chomchao         Dangkor     Phnom Penh   24-tammi-2005   480916    1272914   >1.5   0,0    0,01   450      8
   Kob Kong        Chomchao         Dangkor     Phnom Penh   24-tammi-2005   480917    1272828   >1.5   1,1    0,01   450     14
   Kob Kong        Chomchao         Dangkor     Phnom Penh   24-tammi-2005   480917    1272750   >1.5   0,6    0,01    0      3
   Kob Kong        Chomchao         Dangkor     Phnom Penh   24-tammi-2005   481048    1272855    0,0   0,1     ?     450     70
   Kob Kong        Chomchao         Dangkor     Phnom Penh   24-tammi-2005
   Kob Kong        Chomchao         Dangkor     Phnom Penh   24-tammi-2005
 Angloung Mlou      Angsnuo                       Kandal     24-tammi-2005   478674    1271490   0,3    0,3    0,01    97     <3
 Angloung Mlou      Angsnuo                       Kandal     24-tammi-2005   480740    1274215   0,5    0,5    0,01   410     43
      101        Beaung Kok II     Tuol Kork    Phnom Penh   24-tammi-2005   489586    1279820   0,4    1,0    0,01    74     13
      101        Beaung Kok II     Tuol Kork    Phnom Penh                                       0,5    0,0    0,01   68       8
      101        Beaung Kok II     Tuol Kork    Phnom Penh   24-tammi-2005   489591    1279794   0,4    0,0    0,01   66      17
      101        Beaung Kok II     Tuol Kork    Phnom Penh                                       0,4    0,1    0,01   94      12
 Drei Kro Horm    Toule Basac     Chamkarmon    Phnom Penh   24-tammi-2005   492752    1276902   0,3    0,2    0,03   211     16
 Drei Kro Horm    Toule Basac     Chamkarmon    Phnom Penh                                       0,4    0,2    0,01   144     14
 Drei Kro Horm    Toule Basac     Chamkarmon    Phnom Penh   24-tammi-2005   492874    1276930   0,3    0,0    0,01   72      15
 Drei Kro Horm    Toule Basac     Chamkarmon    Phnom Penh                                       1,1    0,0    0,01   58      14
 Drei Kro Horm   Toule Basac II   Chamkarmon    Phnom Penh   24-tammi-2005   492862    1276941   0,4    0,1    0,01   74      14
 Drei Kro Horm   Toule Basac II   Chamkarmon    Phnom Penh                                       0,4    0,0    0,06   72      14
   Prek Tarot     Preak Tasek     Russei Kaev   Phnom Penh   28-tammi-2005   485446    1289575   0,5    0,6    0,00    41      5
   Prek Tarot     Preak Tasek     Russei Kaev   Phnom Penh                                       0,3    0,2    0,00    25      5
Trapeang Chork      Prey Vey        Dangkor     Phnom Penh   28-tammi-2005   483212    1268648   0,4    0,0    0,02   144     60
Trapeang Chork      Prey Vey        Dangkor     Phnom Penh   28-tammi-2005   482980    1268701   1,2    0,5    0,00    36      5
Trapeang Chork      Prey Vey        Dangkor     Phnom Penh   28-tammi-2005   482984    1268335   0,2    5,0    0,02   250     59
Trapeang Chork      Prey Vey        Dangkor     Phnom Penh   28-tammi-2005   483161    1268430   0,4    0,2    0,01   315      5
Trapeang Chork      Prey Vey        Dangkor     Phnom Penh   28-tammi-2005   483123    1268445   0,3    0,7    0,01    36      7
                               Drinking water quality in the poor settlements of Phnom Penh




NO3    Arsenic                       Turbidity   Conductivity   Total hardness   TDS
                 pH (Temperature)                                                        Total Coliforms   E.Coli
mg/l     ppb                           NTU         µs/cm             ppm         ppm
 50       50                            5           1600              300        800           0             0
>1.0      0         7.22 (26.2°C)       2,1           99             376         720            200         440
>1.0      0          7.4 (26.4°C)       2,1           931            269         650             0           0
0,0       0         7.90 (26.4°C)       2,1          1087            340         780             0           0
0,0       0          7.47 (26.3°)       2,1          2417            538         590             0           0
          0         7.82 (26.5°C)       2,2           203                                      1400         20
                    7.63 (26.2°C)       2,2           197            107                         0           0
0,1       0         7.21 (26.2°C)       2,1           83              36          60          >2000         40
0,1       0         6.50 (26.3°C)       2,2           448            18          340            400          0
0,1       0         7.41 (26.4°C)       2,1           100            36           80             0           0
0,2       0          7.1 (26.2°C)       2,1           128            36           90            100         20
0,1       0         7.51 (26.4°C)       2,2           143            54           90             0           0
0,1       0         7.25 (26.4°C)       2,2           128            54           90             0           0
0,3       0         6.82 (26.2°C)       2,1           97              36          70             0           0
0,1       0          6.87 (26.3°)       2,2           105            36           70             0           0
0,1       0         7.45 (26.2°C)       2,1           996            36           70             0           0
0,3       0         6.99 (26.4°C)       2,1           108            36           80             0           0
0,2       0         7.27 (26.5°C)       2,1           100            36           70             0           0
0,1       0         6.83 (26.2°C)       2,1           102            36           70             0           0
0,1       0         7.06 (25.9°C)       2,2          1000             36          50           6000         400
0,1       0         8.48 (26.0°C)       2,1           100            54           80           2000         600
0,2       0         7.76(25.8°C)        2,2           141            54          100           2000         220
0,1       0         6.63 (25.7°C)       2,2           72              36          50           2000         140
0,1       0         8.08 (25.8°C)       2,1           126            54           80           4000          0
0,2       0         7.73 (25.8°C)       2,1           445            161         330           1000          0
0,1       0         7.38 (26.0°C)       2,2           101            54           70          >6000         120




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