Nearly 70 per cent of the people in Battambang province have access to clean water from the Battambang Water Supply Authority (BWSA), with the provincial administration currently expanding it to remote areas, according to a senior official.

Toch Chhuon Saorith, director of the provincial Department of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, presented his report during the August 16 office-taking ceremony of the BWSA board of directors, held in the presence of minister Cham Prasidh.

Chhuon Saorith shared details of the province’s current water treatment capabilities, noting that Battambang has two water treatment plants with a total capacity of 33,520 cubic metres per day and 747km of clean water pipes.

He explained that the water supply is connected to a total of 34,731 homes, meaning 68.75 per cent of the population receive clean water.

“In order to achieve the long-term vision of the government, the ministry is seeking development assistance within the water supply sector. The Asian Development Bank [ADB] and French development agency AFD have provided the BWSA with a water and sanitation project worth an additional $33.6 million,” he said.

Prasidh noted that, in line with the government’s stated goals, the ministry plans to supply 100 per cent of the Kingdom’s urban population with clean water by 2025, and the wider population by 2030.

He added that the water supply needs to meet four conditions: water must be high-quality, safe, sustainable and provided at an affordable price.

He noted that the board of directors and the director-general have many criteria to fulfil if they are to achieve the clean water policy goals.

All relevant units need to be responsible and reduce their reliance on financial assistance from the national budget. They must increase accountability and transparency in management, in order to ensure that quality, safety, sustainability and prices are in line with the government’s goals,” he said.

According to the provincial administration, as of 2022, some 90 per cent of the people had access to electricity. The 68.75 per cent with clean water includes three towns and districts, totalling 16 communes and 85 villages.

In addition to the BWSA, 24 private operators provide clean water to 451 villages.