July 1, 2008
Water and Sanitation Meeting
This morning, John and I attended the monthly Water and Sanitation meeting hosted by the Ministry of Rural Development in Phnom Penh. It was interesting to hear from so many different initiatives, though admittedly it was a little difficult to follow everything as we are not yet familiar with all the acronyms of the NGOs and government ministries here in Cambodia. Still, we learned a lot from the presentations and had an excellent opportunity to network with organizations working on similar projects during the coffee break. GRET, a French NGO with a business counterpart, had a lot of information to offer about community-based water businesses, especially around promotion, pricing, distribution, local participation, financing, regulation, and the energy requirement of their treatment systems. We are trying to schedule a longer meeting with GRET for next week.
Back at RDI, John and I spent the rest of the day working with staff to ensure that all the supplies and logistics were confirmed for tomorrow's visit to PreakRussei, a village with documented arsenicosis and arsenic concentrations up to 3500 ppb! As always, we had to be ready to adapt to unexpected occurrences, but we are all looking forward to this trip. Here are some pictures of the beautiful RDI compound for now...more updates will come when we return from the village!