Last year, 80 per cent of the children from the Kom Nor Thmor community were forced to drop out of school for up to three months during the wet season as they were unable to safely cross the dilapidated bridge that linked their village to the wider community.
Thanks to Brendan and Bronwyne Richardson, Sunrise supporters from Wagga Wagga, Sunrise was able to work with the Kom Nor Thmor community to build a new 55-metre bridge.
More than 300 people are set to benefit from the new infrastructure, including many farmers and small business owners who were left with no income when they were unable to cross the river to take their goods to market each day.
In order to properly care for the bridge and ensure its longevity, the Kom Nor Thmor village chief and six residents have formed a maintenance committee to regularly assess the state and safety of the bridge. Each family from the community has committed to contributing 100 Riels a week to a savings account that will be used to make any repairs to the bridge in the future.
The completion of the Sunrise Bridge marks the third successful community development project for the Kom Nor Thmor village. Earlier this year Sunrise installed two water pumps at either end of the village, which gave the residents access to clean drinking water for the first time in history. Sunrise also worked with two families who are living below the poverty line to provide them with a new house through Sunrise’s Community Housing Program.
As the village does not have access to plumbing or sewerage, Sunrise plans to build a toilet block in the village later this year. The increased level of sanitation and hygiene will change the lives of many residents, especially children, who are prone to illnesses caused by bacteria and germs from unsanitary communal living areas.