The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has called on the National Assembly to provide more research funds in order to address increasing temperatures in the Kingdom.
According to the National Assembly website, the call was made during a meeting with the parliamentary body yesterday to discuss the outcome of past work and the challenges ahead.
Minister Lim Kean Hor, who presided the meeting, said the ministry has clear action plans to implement its reservoir strategy, tackle water resources management, conduct weather forecasts, and provide disaster relief, among others.
According to the website, Mr Kean Hor said his ministry will need a budget increase for its research initiatives.
“Despite the results that we have achieved, there are some challenges that have to be urgently addressed,” he said. “Regarding this case, we would like to request that the National Assembly increase our research budget in order to increase the quality of our studies.”
Ministry spokesman Chan Youttha yesterday said currently, the ministry receives its funds from the state budget and development partners.
Mr Youttha noted that this year, the state is providing about $50 million for the construction of irrigation systems, maintenance and conducting forecasts.
He said the budget should increase by about eight to ten percent per annum, depending on economic growth.
“The ministry wants to have the budget increased, but that depends on the availability of the national budget,” Mr Youttha added.
He noted that according to the a joint study with the Asian Development Bank, the ministry will need about $2.6 billion between this year and 2033 for the construction of irrigation systems and modernisation of old infrastructure.
Chea Vandeth, chairman of the National Assembly’s commission on planning, investment, agriculture, environment and water resources, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
However, during the meeting, Mr Vandeth said the ministry has contributed to the development of all sectors in the Kingdom.
“We believe that the ministry will enable the water resources sector to play an important role in supporting sustainable development,” he said.