Meet Sangdawan

Meet Sangdawan, an Abundant Water vendor in Laos


In Laos, even near the capital Vientiane, it can be hard to access water. Villagers can sometimes access large 20-litre bottles of water sold by a local factory but this isn’t available to everyone. Some people can’t afford them or can’t access them because they live in villages too far away from main roads. People can also be unsure whether the water from the factory is clean. The alternative of boiling water requires time spent finding firewood and can cause health problems from smoke inhalation.

Sangdawan enjoys the chance to help people near Vientiane to access clean and affordable water that they can filter on their own land. She says it can be difficult for people to understand the concept of dirty water, but she uses a water quality report from Nam Saat, the Lao Ministry of Public Health’s water supply and sanitation program, to explain it to them. She also shows them how to use and clean the Abundant Water filters.

Sangdawan has been selling the filters for three months. She says that the villagers she has spoken to like that the filters are Australian-designed and Lao-made. She tries to talk to whole families to get them interested in the filters, and thinks that in the future vendors might be able to organize village meetings to gather people together to talk about them.