CHI KRAENG DISTRICT

Just a short drive from Cham Resh and Chub Smach, La’ak is BFT’s third holistic Four-Year Village Project

LA’AK

The La’ak Village Project began during mid-2018 with core finance from the Mosaic Property Group in Brisbane, Australia. Further support is being provided by Rotary and other service clubs, as well as supporter groups in Australia, USA and France.

Our latest Four-Year Village Project

In June 2018, BFT and medical volunteers from Australia, Singapore and the United States provided health education for children and adults in La’ak village. One of the most important priorities is the provision of clean water supply, to be achieved through small wells and the installation of several deep wells able to reach the water table and provide a secure, year-round supply of clean water.

During June 2018, the volunteer medical teams of the USA-based Project Helping Hands gave free health checks and basic medical consultations for 250 La’ak village residents. The teams provided medication for minor illnesses and referred 10 families to hospital for treatment.

Many hands from around the world make light work

Supporter groups and volunteers from around the world work on on BFT projects. BFT’s Friend Group from France, Pour Offrir une Enfance Meilleure (POEM), visited La’ak in January 2019 to help complete La’ak to help the new classrooms they financed and stayed for the formal opening.

Australian Rotary group members from Griffith (New South Wales) and Melbourne (Victoria) helped create a community centre, a school water supply, and a demonstration vegetable garden.

Volunteers from Australia, Singapore and the United States worked alongside local BFT staff to provide health education programs for children and adults.

Clean water and hygiene are the keys to health

The immediate priority at La’ak, as with most villages, is to ensure a safe and reliable water supply. During the rainy season, villagers collect rainwater, storing it in small tanks. During the dry season, however, villagers must walk often long distances to collect water from stagnant pools that are likely to be contaminated by human and animal waste. The consequences can include high infant mortality, dysentery, and stunted growth.

La’ak already had some wells and toilet facilities. In an earlier project, BFT installed at the school a giant well with a pump, an elevated storage tank and reticulation piping. But there were not enough wells to serve the entire community.

BFT helped villagers identify locations to install new wells to serve 10 to 15 families, providing water for the whole year. Each well will be allocated to a group of nearby families that will be responsible for maintenance. Depending on water table assessment and any previous drilling work, wells could range from relatively shallow ring wells or giant wells bored to 30 or 40 meters.

Installation of giant well and completed ring well, La’ak village, January 2019

BFT will provide households with, and train them how to use, ceramic filters to ensure that water is safe. The other stages of BFT’s four-year-plan will be implemented in the optimal order devised.

During January 2019, a group from Rotary in Australia installed water filtration at the school, using a new membrane filter system specifically developed for remote locations, together with a hand-washing station. The system will be used as a prototype for village water projects in other villages.

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