Underwater City

Billy Otter / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Foreign tourist slogs ahead with Phnom Penh city tour on Sunday morning, despite flooding. (KT Photo: James Brooke)

PHNOM PENH, September 29, (Khmer Times) – A steady -and at times heavy- deluge of rain left parts of Phnom Penh underwater for several hours yesterday. 

Flooding continues to plague the city despite the efforts of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the $350 million drainage initiative it has been working on since 1999.

A constant concern is the amount of trash blocking both street drains and drainage canals. 

The municipality claims to have begun a campaign to educate citizens in the proper disposal of waste; the effectiveness of the drive is thus far proving to be inadequate.

The loss of natural drainage areas to infilling for land reclamation and subsequent development also contributes to the problem of standing water on city streets. 

In the beginning of JICA’s involvement in 1999, they made recommendations to preserve Phnom Penh’s natural resources and lakes to “ensure effective operation of the drainage system and to reduce flood caused by rainwater.”

As yesterday’s flooding demonstrated, the measures taken to mitigate the annual flooding of the city have proven to be ineffective.

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