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In 2011, persistent heavy rains meant led to widespread flooding around the Mekong River, affecting a number of districts in Cambodia's northwestern and central provinces. In Kompong Thom province, 63 of 73 communes and 396 of 739 villages were affected by the flood. Around 3000 households were evacuated and 18,000 faced shortages of food and clean water.
This EMMA study was intended to contribute to a project for supporting the recovery of the Kampong Thon flooded area focusing on the provision of clean water via ceramic water filters, which are produced in Cambodia and have been used successfully in other parts of the country.
The study found that the ceramic water filter market system had not been disrupted by the flood and that it could be used to deliver water filters to the flood-affected population. However, it found that there was also scope to strengthen the market for water filters both for sustainability and future emergency preparedness.
Given the large size of some families and the Sphere minimum standard of 15 liters of clean water per day for drinking and cooking, water filters alone may not produce sufficient water for households' needs. Therefore, the study recommends that Oxfam consider providing families with more than 5 members with a 60 liter storage container for unfiltered water in addition to a 20 liter container to keep water after filtered. For direct support, we recommend that Oxfam should provide 25% of assistance in the form of vouchers to flood-affected people who have relatively easy access to markets and 75% in in-kind form, to those families for whom access to markets is more challenging. For indirect support, Oxfam recommends providing cash transfers to retailers and wholesalers so that they are able to stock more water filters so that they are able to sell or distribute to the affected people when need arrives.