GNF - Clean drinking water for the floating village of Phat Sanday in Cambodia

Clean drinking water for the floating village of Phat Sanday in Cambodia



Lake Tonle Sap in Cambodia is the largest lake in Southeast Asia. Many people there live in floating villages. This is also the case for our project community Phat Sanday with its 4,500 inhabitants on the south eastern shore of the lake in the estuary of the Stung Sen River.


Together with our Cambodian Living Lakes partner FACT, we have been implementing a project to strengthen community-based fisheries management there since 2019. As an accompanying measure, we wanted to establish a basic structure for the development of nature-friendly tourism together with the village administration. This is because, in addition to the traditional Khmer way of life in the floating villages, it is also possible to visit the nearby Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve by boat.


However, there is no safe drinking water supply in the village. This does not only affect the inhabitants themselves, as they either have to draw contaminated water from the lake or buy drinking water filled in plastic bottles from the mainland. The lack of hygienic water is also a serious obstacle to the development of ecotourism. Another problem is waste disposal. Plastic and other waste are so far "disposed" directly in the lake.

Project Measures

For these reasons, together with FACT and the people of Phat Sanday, we are implementing a project that will provide the following solutions to the problem:

  • Construction of a floating drinking water kiosk with ultrafiltration technology to supply at least 1,000 residents with clean drinking water
  • Establish a local water committee to manage and maintain the water infrastructure
  • Piloting of waste separation and recycling in 150 households in the village
  • Establishment of a garbage collection system with two boats

Success of the Project Measures

In addition to providing clean drinking water for residents and tourists, the water kiosk has created employment and income for seven people so far. The drinking water is in great demand in the village. Ecotourism is also already bringing the village its first income from the provision of accommodation and catering services as well as the sale of handicrafts made locally from the fibers of the water hyacinths. The community as a whole is thus becom-ing less dependent on the ubiquitous fishery with highly fluctuating yields.


Waste separation and recycling is unique at Tonle Sap Lake. Other villages are already interested in the implemented measures.

 Our project community Phat Sanday in Cambodia
 The ultrafiltration plant, the heart of the water kiosk, purifies the water from the Tonle Sap Lake so that it is then available as drinking water.
 The filtrate from the ultrafiltration plant is filled into large containers and distributed to the population.
 Handicrafts made from water hyacinth fibres are very popular for tourists and locals.
 The local water committee regularly exchanges information about the facility, needs and current issues.
 The green bins are ready for the rubbish so that it is no longer "dumped" directly into the Tonle Sap Lake.


 German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
 Foundation Ursula Merz

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

The project should make a concrete contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

 Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
 Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
 Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Project Partner

The Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT) is a Cambodian NGO that has been working on behalf of the numerous small fishing communities in Cambodia since 2004. For this purpose, the NGO works along the Tonle Sap Lake, the Mekong River and in the coastal zone of the small Southeast Asian nation. FACT has been a GNF partner and member of the Living Lakes network since 2010.

 Fisheries Action Coali-tion Team (FACT)

Contact Person

Mr Thies Geertz

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Radolfzell

Phone: +49 7732 9995 83



Project Period:


Project Country: 


Project Partner:



March 2020 - December 2022




Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT)


German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Foundation Ursula Merz and Wilo-Foundation