On 15 August 2016, two volunteers from Engineering Good went to Kratie province, Cambodia, to assess the site conditions at Kampong Damrey and Kampong Kbeoung villages. The visit was part of a project with Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT) to help them design a solar water pumping system.
Kampong Damrey and Kampong Kbeoung are situated along the Mekong River. The river’s depth changes greatly from the wet to dry season – by up to 15m. Together with the steep river bank, villagers have great difficulty collecting water from the Mekong for daily use and irrigation. Previous water pumps installed by CRDT have failed due to poor design, leading to the system breaking down quite often. Therefore, Engineering Good is supporting CRDT by coming up with a more robust design that is also within budget and unlikely to be stolen.
On the day of the visit, the team set off early at 7am. Getting to Kampong Damrey and Kampong Kbeoung required a one-hour ride by motorcycle followed by a three-hour ride by boat so it was important to get a good head start! On arriving at the village about five hours later the team and CRDT immediately embarked on talking to the villagers and observing site conditions. Through this we were able to learn more about their water supply and storage practices. For instance, a number of households had engine pumps to take water from the Mekong to their houses, but this was an expensive solution. Some households harvested rainwater. The water collected were stored in concrete jars and tanks.
The visit gave the team a good understanding of the technical conditions on site, such as the length and width and topography of the village. The team was able to evaluate potential locations for the water pumping system and have a preliminary idea of feasible designs for the water pumping system. These pumping systems, that will be solar powered, will supply affordable water to a model farm and to smallholder farmers. This is an integral part of CRDT’s project to promote resilience in agricultural production and enterprises for food security among subsistence farmers along the Mekong.
Engineering Good is now working closely with CRDT to explore and decide on a suitable design for a solar water pumping system. We would like to thank CRDT for facilitating the visit and the villages of Koh Dambang for the sumptuous lunch!