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Government issues a directive to curb air pollution in Kingdom

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
KT/Mai Vireak

With concern over increased air pollution affecting people’s health, the government yesterday issued a directive ordering all institutions to prevent and reduce emissions.

According to a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday, pollutants are produced by factories, vehicles, forest fire, rubbish and waste burning at construction sites. He said it will affect people’s health.

“Air pollution will increase if measures are not taken properly,” it said.

It said that officials should monitor construction sites, gasoline depots, vehicles, and rubbish burning facilities.

Environment Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said that air quality in Cambodia remains good, but measures need to be carried out to prevent and reduce air pollution to ensure the people’s safety and welfare.

He said that public air with PM2.5 (air particles) in Phnom Penh could increase which will affect people’s health.

“Main sources and activities that cause PM2.5 (air particles) will be increased, including air pollution from industrial plants, diesel, vehicles, fuels, forest fire, trash burning, and solid waste burning,” Mr Pheaktra said.

He said that according to experts, 70 percent of pollution came from vehicle fuels with high sulfur content, 20 percent from dust at construction sites and ten percent from other sources such as rubbish burning.

In 2018, the Environment Ministry released a statement disputing social media criticism that said the ministry had failed to monitor air pollution.

The ministry countered recent reports saying that the air quality in Cambodian is beyond breathable.

The statement said that the ministry equipped air quality monitoring devices to detect PM10 and PM2.5 (air particles), such as dust, bacteria and coal particles.

According to the World Health Organisation’s report on global air pollution released in 2018, air pollution kills about seven million people annually.

The report said that most of the victims were people from poorer economic regions in the Asia-Pacific region, but did not explicitly cite Cambodia.

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