Posted on 03 Apr 23 in Health/WASH KHT News and tagged with development karentribes wash water

The village of Ban Thuan is located in the Mae Chaem district and is a ‘mooban’ or main village in the area. With over 282 residents, the local water source is drying up and the government water system has not worked for many years. When KHT arrived, the villagers were keen on reassurance that the water system we provide will work due to a lack of trust in someone helping them.

Before KHT’s arrival, the villagers were reliant on either water from a well or from a local water source tap that was being depleted. In dry and summer months, only the community tap would have water and people would have to queue up, which is difficult for the elderly, those that live further away or those with poor health.

KHT’s team found a new water source that will provide enough water for the village that is more than 2 miles away. The team got to work ensuring we had the right equipment and supplies, and then working with the villagers, sometimes up to 40 per day, to transport the materials and lay the pipes along the hillside.

After we had taken a lot of the materials to the water source, the village said a prayer of thanks before beginning. This is the first time I have seen this and they were very grateful to have this support as they could not afford to build a system like this themselves.

Pim, M&E Officer

Installing and constructing water systems in the hills is a difficult task. Our team are unable to use vehicles to get to water sources, so people have to pull, push and drag heavy materials and pipes themselves. The construction days are long and require a lot of coordination from our Construction Officers, who have been doing this work for decades.

Keeping the water source, gravity flow and population in mind, the systems are built to ensure they work for everyone and KHT also set-up a ‘Water Committee’ to ensure maintenance after we leave. Construction can take up to 3 weeks, sometimes more depending on the availability of villagers to help and the weather. Construction in rainy season isn’t possible because the hillsides become slippery, mudslides are common and it would be dangerous of our staff and the villagers.

In addition to the pipes from the water source, KHT has set up two types of filters and latrines for the village. We also provided hygiene education to help support improved health.

KHT is grateful for the cooperation of Ban Thuan village and for the hard work of our team. Setting up our gravity-fed water systems is labour intensive and difficult but it makes a huge difference in the health and lives of Karen communities. We are very grateful to The Jan and Oscar Foundation for funding the WASH System in Ban Thuan and for their ongoing support.

We are looking forward to seeing the completed system and completing our monitoring to ensure the system is having the positive impact we want it to!