United States ambassador to Cambodia Patrick Murphy said his country is committed to providing technical assistance in the Kingdom’s water resources management and its fight to tackle climate challenges.
The message was delivered Monday during a meeting with Water Resources Minister Lim Kean Hor at the ministry headquarters in Phnom Penh.
Mr Murphy tweeted yesterday that he was pleased to meet Mr Kean Hor to discuss Cambodia’s significant water and climate challenges.
“Pleasure meeting Water and Meteorology Minister Lim Kean Hor to discuss Cambodia’s significant water & climate challenges. US committed to help through Lower Mekong Initiative, sustained partnership with the MRC Mekong, and other support,” he said.
According to a ministry statement, Mr Kean Hor asked Mr Murphy to assist the Water Resources Ministry with technical work.
Mr Kean Hor highlighted development on water resources management in the Kingdom, especially the building of irrigation systems to help farmers cultivate crops.
He said despite Cambodia facing the El Nino phenomenon, which resulted in droughts last year, farmers still had favourable harvests during rainy and dry seasons thanks to irrigation systems.
“The ministry is making efforts right now to continue to develop more irrigation systems to respond to the need for water by farmers,” Mr Kean Hor said.
Neither Water resources ministry spokesman Chan Youttha nor US embassy spokeswoman Emily Zeeberg could be reached for comment yesterday.
Theng Savoeun, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Farmers Community, welcomed the US’s support in water resources management, adding the Kingdom needs more irrigation systems.
“It is good for farmers that the US continues to help the Water Resources Ministry. It will enable our farmers to access sufficient water for their paddy rice and other crops,” Mr Savoeun said.
“Irrigation system remains an issue for farmers because we have enough water only during the rainy season but we face water shortage during the dry season,” Mr Savoeun said, adding that the ministry should construct more reservoirs, canals and catchments.
In a separate meeting on Monday with Planning Minister Chhay Than, Mr Murphy said the US has continued to help the Kingdom to accomplish its 2030 sustainable development goals.
“[The US] continued cooperation to help Cambodia achieve its sustainable development goals and the important ingredients needed to draw additional high-quality foreign investment,” Mr Murphy said on Twitter.