The head of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) expressed appreciation for the good cooperation between Cambodia and JICA in implementing projects, especially clean drinking water projects.

The JICA representative also made a commitment to continue collaboration to support the strengthening of management capacity in the water supply sector in Cambodia.

The remarks came at a March 9 meeting with Minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation Cham Prasidh and Kamei Haruko, the Cambodia office chief representative for JICA.

Prasidh said at the meeting that JICA is an indispensable partner in the development of the water sector in Cambodia through its support for the sector in the form of building water capacity projects.

The first phase of the water projects started in 2003 and the project has now been implemented in its second and third phases.

The General Department of Water Supply is now implementing a fourth phase of the project to strengthen its capacity to manage the water supply sector in Cambodia.

“Through these projects, many specialists received training from JICA over the short, medium and long terms. The training constitutes an important development of human resources for the development of Cambodia's sustainable water supply sector,” he said.

In addition to the capacity building project, Prasidh stated that JICA also provided financing to strengthen the water supply capacity of the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA).

JICA helped increase the water supply capacities of PPWSA and the water supply authorities in Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Kampot and Pursat. JICA also plans to expand the water distribution networks in Preah Sihanouk, Pursat and Battambang provinces.

“In addition, the Japanese government, through JICA, has also provided grants for the PPWSA’s project to increase water supply capacity in Takhmao town and the project to expand the capacity of the Prek Perm village water treatment system and to expand the provincial supply system capacity of Svay Rieng to about 6800 cubic metres per day. Speaking overall, the Cambodian people, as well as customers, are always thankful to Japanese donors when they have access to clean water,” Prasidh said.

Kamei Haruko expressed admiration for the good cooperation and long-term relationship between Cambodia and Japan as this year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“Soon we will open the expanded water systems in Siem Reap and Kampong Thom provinces and a groundbreaking ceremony for the water treatment plant in Svay Rieng province will be held in the near future,” she said.