More than 10,000 security forces to patrol Water Festival

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Armed forces will provide security during the Water Festival. KT/Chor Sokunthea

City Hall on Wednesday announced there will be more than 10,000 police and military personnel deployed for next week’s Water Festival to ensure adequate security for spectators and participants at the event.

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mean Chanyada said Governor Khuong Sreng met relevant officials on Wednesday to prepare security arrangements for the festival that will run from November 21 to 23.

“This year, 12,754 security forces will be deployed to ensure safety and public order so that visitors can enjoy the event,” he said.

Mr Chanyada noted that 298 boats will take part in races this year and 15 other vessels will take part in illuminated boat processions at night.

Mr Sreng on Wednesday inspected preparations for the boat processions and said that authorities are giving top priority to security, safety and public order arrangements.

He added that he ordered officials to ensure that vendors and those running parking lots do not hike prices.

“I appeal to all visitors to please cooperate with officials and follow instructions to ensure smooth traffic flow because some roads will be closed for pedestrians to use,” Mr Sreng said.

City Hall spokesman Meth Meas Pheakdey yesterday assured visitors that security for the event has been stepped up to ensure safety.

He added City Hall expects more visitors at this year’s Water Festival, noting that about 1.5 million visitors came last year.

Mr Meas Pheakdey said higher living standards and improved road infrastructure will also prompt more people to visit the event.

“We will prepare hundreds of mobile toilets for visitors and the boat rowers,” he said. “We are also providing about 1,000 large trash baskets and 600 to 700 trash bins for the festival.”

Mr Meas Pheakdey noted that about 1,000 staff from garbage collector Cintri, the environment department, public and transportation department and district administration will also help clean up waste every night after events.

The Ministry of Environment will also deploy officials to educate people and vendors about waste management.

Health Minister Mam Bun Heng said yesterday that the ministry has prepared 68 ambulances for emergencies.

“The participants have to take care of their health by eating well prepared food and drinking clean water to avoid food poisoning,” he said. “People should also make sure they do not overcrowd to avoid fainting.”

He added that the ambulances and about 800 health officials will be on standby round the clock at 12 places throughout the three-day festival.

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