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Japanese firms asked to invest in nation’s clean water supplies

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Minister of Industry and Handicraft Cham Prasidh being interviewed with potential clean water suppliers from Japan. KT/Pann Rachana

Japanese firms have been asked to invest in building clean water facilities and supplying clean water-related equipment to Cambodia in line with government sanitation policy.

The call was made as the Cambodian government battles to connect potable water distribution to all urban areas nationwide by 2025 and all rural areas by 2030.

Minister of Industry and Handicraft Cham Prasidh made the request at the Cambodia-Japan Water Supply and Sewage Seminar 2020 held yesterday at Sunway Hotel in Phnom Penh.

The ministry is encouraging both domestic and foreign investors, particularly the Japanese, to invest in  Cambodia’s water supplies so Cambodian people can have access to sustainable clean water to drink as soon as possible, Cham said.

“We want to have Japanese investors to invest in the clean water sector wholesale because it is suitable for Japanese investor interest. They will not need to install pipelines to each household. They can just build main pipelines to private clean water retailers,” Cham said.

The one-day seminar was organised with the participation of local private clean water distributors and dozens of Japanese firms involved in water supplies and water supply-related equipment.

Currently, more than 80 percent of urban areas nationwide have access to clean water, which is provided by state-run water supply authorities and private clean water distributors who are granted licences to operate in areas not connected to the water clean-water pipelines.

As planned, by 2025, all urban areas across the country should have to access to clean water.

Un Yuthy, president of the Cambodia Water Supply Association, currently has 200 private clean water supplier. He, said more investment in water suppliers increases the capacity of supplying clean water to people, particularly people in rural areas.

“Demand for clean water consumption has significantly increased. We need more investment in clean water supplies. The existing private clean-water suppliers cannot expand more because they are small-scale enterprises,” Un said.

Access to clean water is easy in the capital and big provincial cities, but it is only in limited and random supply in some urban areas, Un said.

Mikami Masahiro, the Japanese ambassador to Cambodia, said in his opening remark at the event that the Japanese government has helped Cambodia in increasing clean water production for years, particularly in Phnom Penh.

More clean water plant projects provided by the Japanese government in Cambodia are under  construction in Siem Reap, Kompong Thom, and Pursat provinces, Masahiro said.

Currently, there are eleven state-owned water supplier authorities and another 258 private clean water suppliers that have received licences from the ministry.

About 30 million cubic metres of clean water are used every day in Cambodia, according to Cham.

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