With no public water system, the remote villages of the Luang Prabang province are in dire need of potable water. Without it, the villagers have no choice but to use the only source available to them: the Mekong River. Although the water is polluted with animal waste, septic runoff and soap, it is used for bathing, cooking and drinking.

People to People is working to erect a central water station in 18 villages. The projects involve locating a water source high in the mountains above the “animal line” so that the water will not be contaminated with their waste. People to People volunteers and villagers work side by side to locate and tap the water source, pipe the water, and build a reservoir.

When the work is finished, villagers can drink safely and bathe right in the village. One grateful father said, “My children don’t get sick anymore.”

Depending on the distance from the water source to the village, the cost of providing potable water costs approximately $5,000 to $15,000.

Pictures - click to enlarge
A young mother prepares to bathe her baby in the Mekong River.
Villagers help locate a clean water source high in the mountains.
These children are eager to bathe with clean water for the first time. The station also provides them with safe, fresh water to drink.