Land mines and other explosives have killed 6,144 people in Cambodia since 2000. Thousands more have been maimed. Since 1992, more than 476 million square meters of land in Cambodia has been cleared or land mines. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has stated that it is unlikely Cambodia will achieve nationwide land mine clearance within the next 100 years. This means the rural poor of Cambodia will continue to be killed and maimed by land mines for another century.
Rural Cambodians have little choice when it comes to using land contaminated with land mines to grow crops, build houses, and build roads. Sustained support is needed to help these Cambodians safely use rural land and to provide for their physical and rehabilitative needs. Access to clean safe water is the foundation on which to build these services and supports.
In 2004, the Cambodian government established rehabilitative communities in rural Cambodia. These communities are open only to land mine victims and their families. The government promised to provide these communities with access to quality schools, health care, and basic services including clean water and housing. The Cambodian government has not been able to live up to this promise. As a result, many poor rural Cambodian land mine victims are now suffering in these communities. There are no rehabilitative services available to them and they lack access to even the most basic services including clean water.
What You Can Do
The Minnesota Veterans for Progress “Water Wells for Cambodia” Project is actively working with local contractors in rural Cambodia to install drilled water wells that provide clean safe water for land mine victims and their families living in communities established for them by the Cambodian government.
Sustained support is needed to help these Cambodians safely use rural land and to provide for their physical and rehabilitative needs.