Some communities in Phnom Penh yesterday marked World Habitat Day and cleaned up their environments, with some urging authorities to provide better facilities, including more trash bins to solve their sanitation problems.
The 33rd World Habitat Day was celebrated this year under the theme: Right to Adequate Housing and Waste Management.
Communities also organised religious ceremonies, held dialogue sessions on housing problems and released balloons.
Long Chenda, representative of the Thmor Kol community, said that more than 100 people from her community and ten other poor communities came together to celebrate the day.
She noted that challenges facing the community include a lack of proper drainage systems and inadequate trash bins.
“In our community, we have flooding problems, an unhealthy environment and plastic bags strewn all over the place,” she said. “We request the government, NGOs or other donors to help improve the drainage system here and provide more trash bins because garbage is thrown indiscriminately and we lack proper sanitation.”
Meanwhile, 107 people in Russey Keo, Chroy Changva and Tuol Kork districts also celebrated World Habitat Day yesterday.
Long Chandy, representative of the participants, said hundreds of families are worried about where to live because authorities plan to relocate them in order to develop the old railway line into concrete roads.
He urged the authorities to provide specific information about the development and provide them with adequate housing.
“We are to be resettled to a new location,” he said. “But the authorities who promised to deal with our housing problems so many times still have not given us the details.”
Mr Chandy noted that yesterday’s event was also aimed at educating people on keeping the environment clean by disposing of waste and trash properly.
City Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Environment Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra yesterday thanked those who took part in events to clean up the environment, noting that solid waste management is a problem which needs to be tackled by all parties.
“Maintaining environmental hygiene is our collective responsibility,” Mr Pheaktra said. “Cleaning up the environment together will result in clean, comfortable and hygienic living conditions.”