Progress Report No. 2: Cambodian Floating Health Clinic
by Rey Buenaventura, Social Media Manager
As we continue to Celebrate Change during this winter season, CEF is happy to provide another update from Adrienne & Rick Dartnell, co-founders of K.I.D.S. International. With CEF funding supporting K.I.D.S. is working on building a floating health clinic in Cambodia which will serve many isolated communities along the Stung Sen River. Below is an edited version of their email update:
Bathrooms here are purely functional and on the lake they often consist of a simple frame on the back of a building covered with boards, tarps or rice sacks and one or two boards over the water and presto you have, as they say here ...a 'happy room...'
Health is the main focus of The Lake Clinic (TLC) along with education, disease prevention and assisting villagers with the use and maintenance of bio sand filters. The TLC wants to lead by example and so we are going to be containing water hyacinths, which are floating aquatic plants that grow like weeds here and [placing] them in a tank under the bathroom. The hyacinths will capture and treat the waste in an ultra low tech, cheap and easily replicated manner.
Each day, as we travel through town, [passing by] the beautiful hotels and into the countryside, the poverty slowly starts to emerge. By the time we are in the Port area [the poverty] is hammering at your senses. The crowded, thatched hovels are crammed together over or on the edge of the lake.... The heat, smell of rotting fish, dust and lack of toilets make this a very sad place. Small children play happily in the polluted water not realizing what this [contaminated] water holds... Every day we are reminded that life can be so unfair and it helps to know that together we are all assisting those that have been placed in these untenable situations.
The doctors, nurses and midwives of TLC have been facing challenges of their own of late... It is getting hot here, 30 plus [celsius] each day. The teams are putting in long days treating patients [before] sleeping and eating wherever they can find space on other boats, schools or floating homes... We have been out on the lake several times over the years and at the best of times it can be an endurance test.
To say we are inspired by... the TLC staff is an understatement. We, the staff, and... the villagers are all eagerly awaiting the completion and delivery of the new clinic to serve the Stung Sen area.
Thanks for your support,
Rick and Adrianne