The Ministry of Environment and the initiators of last year’s Phnom Penh Sa-at campaign (Sa-at is Khmer for clean, beautiful) got together last week to kick off the Phnom Penh Sa-at Campaign 2018. The campaign’s core objectives are to create awareness for environment-friendly waste management, to encourage waste sorting, and to discourage littering.
Hay Phirum, co-founder of PP Sa-at, said that they “ … started as a small team of just six members, but had clear objectives, long term goals, and the will to work hard.” He finds that overcoming difficulties and solving problems make the team stronger because they must unite and tackle them shoulder to shoulder. “All relevant stakeholder must speak as with one voice so that it can be heard; this is what Sa-at is about.”
The small team aims to expand the involvement of celebrities and social media influencers so that the message of PP Sa-at will reach an even broader audience. The campaign has joined hands with an performance artist to produce a music video. It will be shown at various locations in the capital like cinemas, shops, and restaurants. It aims to motivational the viewers to participate in the project by no longer thoughtlessly depositing their refuse around their residences and/or along the streets.
Mr Phirum and his team have conducted several educational workshops to inform school children about the goals of the PP Sa-at campaign. “This year, the Sa-at project will increase the number of schools [to visit] to at least 30.”
The project is supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the workshops methodology should promote two-way communications, i.e. positive feedback from the students. Targeting the youth is a major factor in influencing the public to alter the way they handle their waste materials.
The campaign is a reflection of the commitment of citizens and city officials who, in a group-effort, endeavour to keep the city clean and thereby beautify it, and protect the environment in general.
Eang Sophallet, the Ministry of Environment’s under-secretary of state and advisor to the Prime Minister, said that, “We are also working on environmental problems and put up great efforts to gain knowledge about and find solutions to the storage of solid refuse. This will serve to improve the quality of the environment and the welfare of the inhabitants of Phnom Penh and of the country as a whole.”