Grandma Kun lives with her eldest son’s family in LaSeng Village in Salavan Province.
There are 8 people in Grandma Kun’s household: her son, his wife and their three children, as well as two unmarried sons. Grandma Kun and her family are Ta Oy, a minority ethnic group that lives mostly in Salavan province in southwestern Laos.
The Ta Oy are generally subsistence farmers: their crops are mainly for their own consumption and rarely for sale. They use slash-and-burn farming to grow upland rice, maize, sweet potatoes, beans and cassava.
The rains not only ensure that the crops are watered, but also supply the springs and streams from which Grand-Mère Kun draws water for domestic use. Unfortunately, this water is not safe to drink, and the family regularly suffers from stomach problems and diarrhoea.
In January 2023, the village was visited by Vilayphone, a sales representative from our partner TerraClear. During this visit, the village chief granted Vilayphone the right to set up a meeting to explain to the villagers the health risks associated with drinking water. Some of the villagers were not really aware of what was at stake.
Vilayphone continued the meeting by explaining how to make water safe to drink by boiling it for twenty minutes over an open fire. He also suggested that families buy a TerraClear filter. This filters water directly from the stream without having to boil it. The villagers no longer have to build a fire specifically for their water needs. It also saves wood and time spent gathering it in the woods.
Grandmother Kun was particularly keen to get a filter, but unfortunately her family couldn’t afford one. However, the family qualified for a subsidised filter by paying only 5 dollars instead of 45.
It’s thanks to your support that the SFE and its partners are able to visit the most isolated villages in Laos and propose simple solutions to offer better health and a more sustainable future to the most disadvantaged villagers. Thank you for your support.