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Enactus Students Assemble Solar Water Packs for Cambodians

Female student assembles solar water pack

University of La Verne students participating in the Enactus program, a community empowerment club, developed 100 solar water packs earlier this month to provide access to clean drinking water to families in the Tonlé Sap region of Cambodia.

Enactus members gathered at Solar Solutions in San Diego on Nov. 3 to build AquaPaks — solar water pasteurizers designed to kill bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms by converting sunlight into thermal energy. According to a 2014 UNICEF report, approximately 6.3 million people in Cambodia do not have adequate access to clean drinking water.

Kristine Keo, a junior international business student, was proud to be a part of the team helping her home country.

“I took part in a solution that will hopefully address an issue that my country has faced for many years,” said Keo. “This simple act can help reduce the fatality rate from drinking unclean water in Cambodia.”

According to UNICEF, 10,000 people die annually in Cambodia due to unclean water and lack of sanitation knowledge.

The AquaPak is lightweight and portable. It can purify up to 10 liters per day and provides both safe water and a storage container. There is no need for fuel or electricity.  It works best in tropical and warm climates in order for the pasteurization process to take effect, which is ideal for Cambodia.

In addition to assembling the solar water packs, students heard from Solar Solutions President and Founder Frank Husson. He explained the technology behind the pack such as how the Water Pasteurization Indicator is used. The indicator will notify if the water is safe to consume once it has reached 65 degree-Celsius.

Dr. Issam Ghazzawi, professor of management and Enactus advisor, said the experience was awe-inspiring for many of the students looking to make an impact in their community and abroad.

For Robert LP Buono, a senior business administration major, the experience taught him that making a difference doesn’t have to take hours, as long as you think outside the box.

“If we are willing to put out our hands and help others, we can make an impact,” Buono said.

Enactus is an international nonprofit organization committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives. It was first introduced to the University of La Verne in 2006. It offers students a unique opportunity to participate in hands-on projects. Past initiatives have included the donation of business attire to graduate students in the Philippines, empowering a local family in Mexico, and educating local students about healthy living.