Phnom Koul

Phnom Koul

The Phnom Koul Home is located near a small mountain in the generally flat Province of Battamang, about 30 km from the city that bears the same name.

Battambang is the most agriculturally productive province in the country and is famous throughout Asia for the quality of rice it produces. Battambang Province has a population of about 800,000 of which 82% are rural. Within the province there is a 65% literacy rate and only 9% of the population has attended secondary school. Almost 45% of the population is under 14 and 35 % of the women over 40 are widows. Only 20% of the homes have toilets which is just one of the reasons for the poor state of health care in the region. Most of the population is involved in rice production which is produced in flooded paddy making Battambang a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Since Battambang borders on Thailand, and is so economically important, it was involved in some of the most intense fighting during the period from 1970 to 1998. Land mines are still a major problem in rural areas. Death due to childbirth, landmines, violence, and diseases such as malaria, dysentery, dengue fever, and AIDS are the main contributors to an overwhelming orphan population. With the highest HIV infection rate in Asia, death due to A.I.D.S is becoming the number one cause of orphaned children in Cambodia.

The Phnom Koul home is located in a recently de-mined area by the Cambodian Mines Action Committee (CMAC) which is the primary mine removal agency in Cambodia. Portions of the province have been cleared of mines but a number of children in the homes are there due to death of one or both parents from mine explosions.

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