The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has decided to dig a one-hectare pond to store day-to-day water for the Oddar Meanchey provincial prison and its surroundings.
The prison is located in Samroang city, an area currently facing shortages of water.
Provincial Governor Pen Kosal yesterday said the pond is necessary in order to supply water for prisoners, soldiers and about 1,000 families in the city’s Samroang commune.
“The pond is located in state-reserved land, and according to ministry officials, the pond will cost about $50,000,” Mr Kosal said, noting that provincial authorities have been using a truck to transport ten-cubic metres of water to the prison.
“In the next few days, the ministry will provide another ten-cubic metres of water,” he said. “We will transport water to the prison twice a day – the prison needs more than ten-cubic metres of water for day-to-day use.”
Provincial prison director Sao Vanny said that previously, the prison had been tapping water from a source dug during the prison’s construction, but the well had dried, causing a shortage of water.
“After the water in the well dried, provincial leaders ordered provincial police to use fire engines to transport water for prison use, but it was not enough,” Mr Vanny said. “So, the prison requested the Water Resources Ministry to help resolve the issue.”
Ministry secretary of state Chan Yutha could not be reached for comment yesterday.
However, Mr Yutha was quoted last week saying the government has been addressing the issue of water shortages during the dry season.
He noted that heat and water shortages in the Kingdom can be attributed to the El Nino phenomenon.
Oum Sitha, secretary of state of the Ministry of Industry and Handcrafts, yesterday said during a workshop in Phnom Penh that his ministry is also working to find sources of water across the country.
“In the past, water from rivers, lakes and canals was used to supply areas affected by shortages,” Mr Sitha said. “But that would not address [shortages] during a natural disaster.”
“The state has to intervene just like in 2016, when we had to transport water from other areas,” he added.
During the workshop, Mr Sitha noted that according to the National Development Strategic Plan, the government is aiming to provide clean water to all citizens living in highly-populated areas by 2025.