Representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft and the World Bank on Friday met to discuss the implementation of a multi-million dollar project to promote clean water and hygiene.
The World Bank is set to give $57.5 million over the course of five years to support the project in six provinces.
The meeting on Friday was held by Industry Minister Cham Prasidh and World Bank representative Takuya Kamatam.
Ministry spokesman Um Sotha yesterday said until 2024, $32 million will be directed to clean water initiatives, while $25.5 million will go to improve the hygiene sector.
Mr Sotha said the project aims to expand clean water networks and production in Kampong Thom province’s Stoung district and Mondulkiri province’s Sen Monorom city. The project also aims to develop small-scale water treatment facilities in the provinces of Battambang, Prey Veng, Siem Reap and Kampong Chhnang.
“We have our Water Supply Authority in some downtown areas in provincial cities, but we are still not able to meet increasing demands for daily consumption,” Mr Sotha said. “So, this project will help expand the clean water distribution network for citizens.”
Peng Ne, a 67-year-old Preah Sdach district resident in Prey Veng, said she currently does not have access to clean water. Ms Ne said she is counting on the government and its development partners to provide access to clean water to those in rural areas.
“Currently, I use rain water stored in jars and pond water,” she said. “So it is good if there is assistance in this sector so people in rural areas can have clean water like people in the city.”
Mr Prasidh said during the meeting that the project is important for the government’s development goals. He said the government is aiming to provide clean water to all citizens by 2025.
“The ministry is focusing on clean water supply not only in urban areas and downtown, but also in rural areas,” he said.
Mr Prasidh added that the government has recently decided not to tax clean water producers for importing equipment.
Mr Takuya said the project is a new starting point in supporting the clean water sector in Cambodia.
He added that with the government, the World Bank will organise detailed plans and implement the project with the ministry with transparency.
“The World Bank expects that the cooperation on the implementation of this project will be productive, in line with the goals issued,” Mr Takuya said.
According to Nuon Daniel, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, more than 30 percent of people in rural areas have yet to receive clean water services.
Mr Daniel added that the government is aiming to provide access to clean water for all citizens as part of its 2025 national policy.