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Availability of the Kanchan arsenic filter in Cambodia


This question was received from Jay Woods, volunteer for Side by Side Cambodia

"I will be spending a month in Cambodia and will be volunteering on an island near Phnom Penh called Koh Rumdual. I have recently heard that they are in need of a water filter that removes arsenic so I researched and found that the Kanchan filter is the best option.

Do you know if the Kanchan is easy to make by finding parts around the city of Phnom Penh or if it is available to order? As well as any contact information to someone who lives in Phnom Penh who could help?"


If you Google "Kanchan filter manual" you will find several documents published about 10 years ago by MIT. An expert worth contacting is Tommy Ka Kit Ngai from CAWST, formerly from MIT, who has done research on the Kanchan arsenic filter - []( There is also a good Yahoo!group [arsenic-crisis]( to which many development practioners subscribe and an International Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWST) [network]( Please note that the [acceptability and scalability]( of household water treatment systems is problematic as recent [experiences in Nepal]( show.

CDietvorst gravatar imageCDietvorst ( 2014-01-27 10:08:00 )

1 Answer

Harriette Purchas

Hi Jay, The Kanchan filter has indeed had some very good results in practice. Presumably you have read the papers by Chea et al (CHEA, S., MAO, S., UY, D., NGAI, T.K.K., MAHIN, T., 2009. Kanchan Arsenic Filter Evaluation of Applicability to Cambodia, Technical Report. Cambodia: MRD, CAWST, MIT.) and also the paper given by Davin Uy at the WEDC conference in 2009, Kanchan Arsenic filter: Evaluation and Applicability to Cambodia.

It is a simple filter to construct and these papers have photos and diagrams of the filters as they have been constructed. The parts should be easily obtainable in Phnom Penh.

The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) is strongly supported by UNICEF for all arsenic research/mitigation in Cambodia, together with other NGOs such as RDIC (Research Development International Cambodia). If you email me directly on I will put you in touch with contacts in these organisations so that you can coordinate your work with them.

Regards Harriette