In most of Cambodia’s rural areas, people have no access to a potable water system and must drink water they collect in pools. However, stagnant water is often unfit to drink, and its consumption causes significant public health problems. Many children suffer from diarrhoea or die in infancy after drinking contaminated water.
The reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, during which intellectuals were systematically eliminated, also left indelible scars throughout the country. One of the consequences of that terrible period of history is a population with little or no education, which must now learn how to apply basic public health measures.