On the International Day of Friendship, Abundant Water celebrated our friendships with many different communities in Laos. Over the past ten years, we have built these relationships by working with communities to get to know many individuals, their needs, and ways of life.
Our ability to build these relationships would not be possible without the support of donations and collaborations with different organisations. Abundant Water is proud to announce a new level of friendship with the Australian Embassy in Laos, demonstrated through awarding of a Direct Aid Program (DAP) grant. The DAP is a small grants scheme coordinated by the Australian Embassy in Laos for development activities which provide direct benefits to people and communities most in need.
Over the next year it is anticipated the DAP will allow Abundant Water to provide a clean water supply to 52 villages as well as livelihood training to 18 people in Vientiane and Oudomxay provinces.
One of the main focuses of DAP projects is to achieve practical and tangible outcomes for disadvantaged communities and contribute to poverty alleviation. Abundant Water will achieve these goals by working with three local partners: Association for Community Training and Development (ACTD), Green Community Alliance (GCA), and Association de Soutien au Developpment des Societes Paysannes (ASDSP). Together, the work of these associations covers two provinces and five districts.
The Abundant Water DAP project will provide over 500 free filter sets to the ten poorest households in every target village. These households will be selected in consultation with local representatives from the District Health Office and the Lao Women’s Union as well as village leaders. Abundant Water will provide training to support and build the capacity of the ACTD, GCA and ASDSP to empower their continued work in these districts.
Funding from the DAP project will also include the identification, selection, and training of 18 local vendors who will begin selling water filter sets for a small profit after the free sets have been installed. This means that not only will the target villages benefit from the project, but locals from these villages will use their new skills to earn a wage by installing and maintaining the filters for other communities, who will also benefit from their new clean water supply. This is the Abundant Water philosophy in action: practical solutions for the common good.
This project will have immediate and lasting benefits not only for the chosen villages, but for surrounding communities. The poorest families in these districts will receive a free AW filter set which will provide them with access to safe and clean drinking water. This will improve the health of these families and reduce the incidence of diseases contracted as a result of drinking unclean water. Families will not need to spend time collecting wood for fires to boil water and caring for people who are sick with diseases found in dirty drinking water. Communities will save money by no longer needing to buy expensive pre-bottled water. There are also wider benefits to the environment. Water filters reduce the need to cut down trees to use the wood for fires to boil water. This will decrease deforestation and smoke pollution caused as a result of these fires.
Abundant Water is proud of the friendships we have built and maintained over the past 10 years. We are looking forward to the communities that we will get to know as a result of this DAP project, and the opportunity to work with the Australian Embassy in Laos who have made this project possible.