Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Tea Banh announced the completion of two successful collaborations with the Japanese government, as two new clean water treatment plants were inaugurated.

Tea Banh presided over a joint inauguration ceremony for the two plants – Chreav-Siem Reap Clean Water Treatment Plant in Siem Reap province and Stung Sen II Clean Water Treatment Plant in neighbouring Kampong Thom province on May 22.

“These achievements are also a symbol of the growth of relations between Cambodia and Japan, as this year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations,” he said.

Tea Banh expressed his “deep gratitude” and appreciation to the government and people of Japan, who have shown a strong will and unwavering determination to support the government and people of Cambodia.

He explained that through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japanese government has taken great care to assist Cambodia in the clean water sector, providing both technical and financial support for projects across the country.

Senior Minister and Minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation Cham Prasidh noted that in order to solve the water supply challenges of Siem Reap, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, as representatives of the government, signed two agreements with JICA for a total of $115 million to complete the two phases of the plant.

“Thanks to this project, the Siem Reap Water Supply Authority [SRWSA] now has the capacity to produce a total of 90,000 cubic metres of clean water per day, enough to supply more than 80,000 households,” he said.

“This includes the 12 communes of Siem Reap town; eight communes in Prasat Bakong district; Run Ta Ek commune in Banteay Srei district; and two communes in Angkor Thom district. Run Ta Ek and Peak Sneng are new development areas which have never had a dependable water supply before,” he added.

Prasidh explained that the new Kampong Thom plant would provide clean water to 67,000 people in 42 villages, and assist the provincial water supply authority to achieve its 2025 development target of clean water access to 100 per cent of urban dwellers.

Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Atsushi Ueno, who also attended the inauguration ceremony, said this year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations, noting that the relationship has been upgraded to a “comprehensive strategic partnership” to reflect the close ties.

He said the completion of the two projects in the clean water sector – which is at the core of Japan’s assistance to Cambodia – at the same time as the anniversary was impressive.

“The Japanese government will also work with private Japanese companies to continue to support Cambodia’s 2025 clean water goals,” he added.

He expressed his hopes that the two new treatment plants would contribute to improving the public health and quality of life of the people.