Right now, The Seed Box Postdoctoral Fellow Isaac Lyne is in Eastern Cambodia, in Kampong Cham Province, conducting fieldwork for two research projects on fresh water kiosks and low plastic tourism that are funded by the Seed Box.
Firstly, Isaac is researching a social enterprise franchise of water kiosks in Cambodia. The kiosks put contaminated water sources through a four-step decontamination process and then distribute to villagers in 20 litre PET bottles. This has become one of the main models for delivering clean drinking water in remote rural and peri-urban areas supported in Cambodia by UNICEF, USAID, and the Royal Government of Cambodia Ministry of Rural Development. The research is looking at the life of the 20 Litre plastic bottle, the relationship of water entrepreneurs with technology, how this mode of delivery is impacting on water discourses and also the way that the presence of a kiosk reconfigures social relations in villages.
The second research project is being undertaken in partnership with Hanchey Bamboo Resort, a social enterprise initiated by Buddhism for Social Development Action, to explore the roles of plastic packing that is used in the resort, what roles might be achieved by other means including vernacular materials such as palm leaf, banana leaf, bamboo and rattan. The research has an action orientation involving workshops to think with staff and local suppliers about whether and how the Resort might become an exemplar of low plastic tourism in Southeast Asia.