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Japan Helps Expand Water Supply

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An artist’s impression of intake and water treatment facilities in Battambang province. Supplied

The launching ceremony of a project for the expansion of water supply systems in Kampong Cham and Battambang, financed with Japanese grant aid assistance, took place yesterday in Battambang City in the presence of Prime Minister Hun Sen and Kumamaru Yuji,
 
Japan’s ambassador to Cambodia.
 
According to a press release issued by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the government of Japan is providing about $33.55 million in grants for the project that will help to solve water shortage problems in Kampong Cham and Battambang cities.
 
“The new water supply facilities will not only substantially improve the water supply service, but also increase the current low coverage ratio (45 percent in Battambang, 35 percent in Kampong Cham) to 85 percent in both cities by 2019,” the press release said.
 
The letter added that the project will also help about 119,000 people in those cities have safe and clean water that, in turn, will improve public hygiene, reduce water-related diseases and cut down the hard work of women and children in terms of bringing water from natural sources to their homes.
 
The project is focusing on building facilities for raw water transmission, building facilities for water treatment, building facilities for water distribution, providing equipment and materials for service connections and providing technical assistance for the operation and maintenance of all facilities.
 
For poor households, special assistance will be set up for them to be able to connect to the clean-water system.
 
In his speech during the launch ceremony, a copy of which Khmer Times received from the Japanese embassy in Phnom Penh, Mr. Yuji pointed out that the project could not have come to life if there hadn’t been participation from many Japanese companies.
 
The ambassador added that the Cambodian government had set a goal to provide clean water to all Cambodian households nationwide by 2025.
 
“National Strategic Development Plan 2014-2018 has been set up with a main goal of providing clean water to all Cambodians living in all cities by 2025. I hope the installation of other important systems will happen in the future to reach that goal,” stated Mr. Yuji.
 
In addition to this project, two more water treatment plants will be built in Kampot and Siem Reap provinces under funding from the Japanese government.
 
According to a JICA report issued last month, JICA has also worked with the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) since 1993.
 
For that, JICA has provided great assistance in helping PPWSA become one of the most successful water supply institutions in the world. As of 2013, PPWSA had received a total of about $124 million in Japanese assistance.
 
JICA has also provided assistance to help improve access to clean water supplies to other provinces such as Pursat, Siem Reap, Svay Rieng and Sihanoukville.
 
To help these provinces improve clean water supplies, JICA has cooperated with PPWSA to increase technical and management capacity.
 
JICA has also given loans to these provinces to construct water supply treatment plants and replace or expand networks in major provincial cities.
 
The report added that access to clean water supplies in urban areas has increased from 53.5 percent in 2009 to 81.28 percent in 2014.
 
However, the rate of access to clean water in provincial cities was just 65.71 percent. In the future, JICA will commit to building facilities and improving water supply services in major provincial cities by using its experience and knowledge.
 
Japan has been involved in the development of Cambodia since the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement in 1991, when it dispatched its first peacekeeping mission to Cambodia.
 
Its development assistance in Cambodia is part of the Official Development Assistance policy of the Japanese government, which aims to help Cambodia and all of the Mekong Region countries narrow the development gap between Asean member countries.
 
Following this policy, the Japanese government has been helping Cambodia install and renovate its infrastructure with a view of promoting participation by the private sector in the development and reforms taking place in Cambodia.
 
Through the “Agreement between Japan and the Kingdom of Cambodia for the Liberalization, Promotion and Protection of Investment,” the government of Japan has been assisting Cambodia since 2008 to build the necessary infrastructure that attracts more Japanese investors to the Kingdom.
 
Since 1992, Japan has been one of Cambodia’s biggest donors in terms of development assistance.
 
In response to this assistance, Cambodia has supported Japan’s position on many issues in the international arena.
 
The primary goal of the Japanese government is to assist the government of Cambodia, without political distinction, to achieve its development plan, the so-called “Rectangular Strategy,” in order to narrow the development gap in the region and to ensure security and environmental sustainability.

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