City Hall has deployed nearly 100 drivers of motorbike trash collection vehicles to help collect rubbish ahead of the Water Festival weekend.
The government has announced that the Water Festival this year will take place from November 10 through 12; it is the biggest event in the Kingdom and millions of people will come to Phnom Penh to watch boat races and music performances.
Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng on Monday said the drivers will collect rubbish in the districts of Chroy Changva, Daun Penh, Chamkar Morn and Beong Keng Kang before expanding their service coverage area.
Deputy governor Keut Che said that by the end of the week, the drivers will have been deployed to all 14 districts in the capital.
“Those drivers will be provided to all communes so they can help rubbish collection,” Mr Che said. “They will speedily collect rubbish so the environment can be maintained.”
Environment Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra yesterday said his ministry will use the Water Festival weekend to disseminate information on cleanliness and explain the importance of hygiene to festival-goers.
Mr Pheaktra noted that the ministry will not be aiming to fine festival-goers who litter in public.
“Even though we have the law to fine people, we will take this opportunity to educate them because I think there will be many people,” he said. “But later on after the festival, people who pollute the environment will be fined.”
Thun Veasna, a resident, yesterday said lack of hygiene is a major issue during the Water Festival every year.
“Even though the authorities educate people on rubbish disposal, rubbish is everywhere after celebrations are done,” Mr Veasna said. “People must understand and clean the environment themselves.”
Mounting rubbish is a problem that cannot be ignored in Phnom Penh. The capital produces about 3,000 tonnes of rubbish a day and this will increase in the future due to economic and population growth.
In October, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the government will take over Cintri, the private company contracted to collect and dispose of waste in the capital, to solve the rubbish crisis.