A Day in The Life

on
30 June 2021
Sokmal with his wife
WaterAid/Remissa Mak

Name: Sokmal

Age: 35

Lives: Kratie Province, alongside the Mekong River

Shares: A house with his wife Soeymom and five children

Sometimes when we are in a rush we don’t boil the water and the children get sick. When we drink the raw water, we sometimes get a stomach ache.

Sokmal and his family are part of WaterAid’s Healthy People, Healthy Place project, which aims to bring clean water and hygiene behaviour change to the Sambour district, as well as championing inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene for marginalised groups.

I work in the rice fields and I grow corn. I also work in construction seasonally and also works for other people. My wife comes with me to dig the cassava, pick cashew nuts fruits. We bring the smaller child and we keep the bigger children with their grandparents. We wake up 4am and go to sleep by 9pm.

We have land that we can grow rice, corn, vegetable and other food.

The river. The water from the river we have to boil it. We boil it here. Before, this village had a water filter from another organisation. Now it’s broken so we have to boil water again. The walk to the river is steep and we slip because the water is heavy.  

Five litres takes about half an hour. Sometimes when we are in a rush we don’t boil the water and the children get sick. When we drink the raw water, we sometimes get a stomach ache. When children are sick, I bring the child to the medical centre. I feel afraid for their lives.


I didn’t because I don’t have any money. But now I work hard so that I can buy them the books for them to learn. Three are in school. I have not asked them what they want to do when they grow up. I don’t know, I just want them to have knowledge.


I want the hospital the most. The health centre is far from this village. We have to pay for transportation for the patient, or we have to borrow a motorbike. We would like to have roads, clean water, well, hospital and we would like them to help people.
 

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