Water Usage Behaviour and Discourse in Cambodia (Management Project)

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Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Asia and the mortality and morbidity due to lack of improved water supply sources are high. Improvement in this area could better the situation for many Cambodians and as a consequence better the situation for the state of Cambodia.

The purpose of this thesis is to depict how water issues are being handled in Cambodia. This is done from an anthropological point of view and as a result the focus is on the interviewees of this study. Issues that will be of interest are water consumption and management behaviour, and their explanations.

Thoughts and knowledge on water treatments, water safety and how to prevent water related health issues will also be of interest. Other important aspects are sanitation, garbage and the work of non-governmental organizations and the Royal Government of Cambodia. The field work was carried out though interviews and observations in three main areas, urban Phnom Penh, Khsach Kandal and Angk Snuol.

The result focuses on risk behaviour and behaviour change and shows that there is a lack of knowledge among the people I talked to when it comes to water related health risks. There is a big mistrust in the quality of the water and most people regard boiling a necessity before drinking the water. However, storage is generally the big problem as well as lack of information on how, where and why water gets contaminated.

Another problem that emerged is that there is a lack of financial commitment from the Royal Government of Cambodia and much work is done by NGOs which might be the reason for conflicting and confusing messages towards the public.
Source: Linköping University
Authors: Andersson Sköld, Lisa

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