The National Committee for the Management and Development of Coastal Zones and the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall have instructed all hotels, guesthouses and other business outlets to install wastewater treatment basins to prevent wastewater from directly flowing into the sea.
Provincial Hall spokesman Or Saroeun said yesterday that the instruction was issued last week following images on Facebook showing wastewater flowing into the sea from Sokha Hotel and Xihu Hotel in the province.
He said the NCMD and Provincial Hall had issued letters to the two hotels as well as other establishments to install the basins in order to prevent wastewater from flowing directly into the sea, rivers and lakes, which affects the environment and people’s health.
Mr Saroeun noted that the NCMD, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Tourism are also speeding up construction of four wastewater treatment plants in the province to prevent water pollution.
“We are already addressing the issue at the provincial level and at the national level the NCMD, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Tourism are building four wastewater treatment plants,” he said. “Although construction has not yet been completed, we are working hard in order for this work to be completed soon to solve this problem.”
He urged the public to be patient while the issue is being resolved.
On Thursday, the Information Ministry posted a statement from Land Management Minister Chea Sophara, who is also NCMD chairman, instructing relevant authorities not to approve the construction of gated communities, hotels, guesthouses, restaurants or tourist recreation spots, especially in the coastal provinces, unless they seek permission from the ministry by providing construction plans of treatment basins.
Mr Sophara also said that working teams will speed up the construction of all four wastewater treatment plants and complete them before the upcoming Khmer New Year.
According to Preah Sihanouk Governor Yun Min, one plant will be located in Lek Bey commune, another next to Sokha Hotel, the third near the creek of Dexihu building and the last near the port to Koh Rong in Ochheuteal Beach.
Phuek Sokhen, a Sihanoukville resident, expressed support for the plans.
“The attention paid to address this issue will provide Preah Sihanouk province with a clean environment,” she said.
According to the provincial authorities, besides addressing the issue of wastewater, NCMD has also provided two beach cleaning machines to clear rubbish and waste along the coast in the province.