June 02, 2008
Orphans and children suffering from AIDS in a village some 30 minutes drive from the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, benefit from three sun-powered SQFlex water plants – one of them donated by Grundfos as a Corporate Social Responsibility project. After using the water plants for a year, the villagers are so pleased with the pumps that two more have been ordered.
When Jens Ove Frederiksen, Business Development Manager for Grundfos in Thailand, visited the village in the spring, he immediately noticed that changes had happened since the water plants were installed a year ago.
“The children looked cleaner than before. Gardens had been created and there were plenty of green plants everywhere. The water had enabled the village to invest in two small piggeries and they supplied manure for a very simple biogas plant, which gave the villagers easier access to fuel for cooking and so on”, explains Jens Ove Frederiksen. He points out that fuel is a major problem in and around Phnom Penh, as there are hardly any trees left and wood and coal are very expensive.
During the dry periods, the SQFlex plants also supply water to a small artificial lake created by the villagers for fish farming.
Seminar with prominent guests
Jens Ove Frederiksen visited the village during a seminar which was organised as part of the good collaboration between Grundfos and Christian Care, which looks after the sick and orphaned children. The seminar also involved Michael Stenberg from the Danish Embassy in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, which covers Cambodia via a representation in Phnom Penh.
The seminar programme was rather unusual. The destination of a sightseeing trip for the participants with a whole day to spare was not a tourist location, but the village, where the visitors were eagerly awaited. Despite their poverty, the villagers treated their visitors to fresh fruit and water, and the children had practised a couple of local Cambodian children’s songs as part of the entertainment.
In addition to Ambassador Michael Stenberg, the prominent guests at the seminar included Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Rural Development Lu Lei Streng as well as guest speakers from the Cambodian Ministry for Energy and the UN Development Programme UNDP.
Grundfos’ sales in Cambodia are led from Malaysia and Managing Director Dennis Tang and Assistant Segment Manager Peng Tuck Lee from Grundfos in Thailand attended the seminar. In addition, a representative from Grundfos’ partner company in Thailand, Solartron, had been invited to talk about sun cells and the company’s experiences in Thailand.
Jens Ove Frederiksen explains that the sales prospects for SQFlex plants are good in Cambodia, even though energy prices are low there compared to the level in wealthy countries.
“It is obvious that people are increasingly talking about alternative energy supply and energy consumption and great interest has been shown in getting information about Grundfos and the solutions we offer”, he says.