Japan has committed to help Cambodia’s urban populations gain access to a safe, affordable and sustainable water supply, with the government confirming that 85 percent of urban populations currently have access to clean water.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency yesterday signed an agreement with the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft on a project to strengthen the administrative capacity of urban water supply service in Cambodia.
According to a JICA press release, the project aims to strengthen governance of urban water supply services and will contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations.
“By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all in accordance with the national strategic development plan,” it said.
“By 2025, 100 percent of urban populations will have access to a safe, affordable and sustainable water supply.”
Prak Prakat, director general of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft’s potable water supply department, said yesterday that 85 percent of urban populations had access to clean water and by 2025, the government expected that more than 100 percent of urban populations would have access.
“This JICA project with the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft is for five years. Most of the project focuses on human training in the water supply sector,” he said.
“Due to the government’s response in supplying water to the people, we expect that 100 percent of the urban population will gain access. We are at 85 percent already.”
Mr Prakat declined to reveal the budget for the project, saying it had not been calculated.
Yuichi Sugano, chief representative of JICA, said that in the urban water supply sector, JICA has long been one of Cambodia’s major development partners and has contributed both physical and soft infrastructure.
“Several water treatment facilities have been built in Phnom Penh and many provinces such as Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Kampot, Pursat and Sihanoukville,” he said.
“The signing of this cooperation agreement is the fourth project that JICA has worked on in the sector in Cambodia since 2003.”
Mr Sugano said the project was expected to officially begin the middle of this year, adding that it reflected the commitment of the Cambodian and Japanese governments to strengthen cooperation in the development of the urban water supply sector in Cambodia.