The Preah Vihear Provincial Administration has mapped out 36ha of land to form a new dump site in Chhep Lech village of Preah Vihear’s Chhep district’s Chheb commune. Its aim is to improve sanitation services in the province commensurate with its population growth.

District governor Sok Santara told The Post on March 6 that the provincial administration had long planned to use the 36ha for a dump site, but because residents had encroached on the land, authorities had recently demarcated boundaries and formed access roads.

“All too often, when the public sees land is vacant, they clear it and use it. To prevent further encroachment, we have clearly marked the boundaries. The occupiers have willingly returned the land,” he said.

He added that the area was now prepared for construction.

“The reason we set aside such a large plot is because we plan to build a dump site that will serve us well into the future. The larger it is, the longer it will benefit the population. There is currently an issue with rubbish being littered around the province – which detracts from the beauty of the district and has a detrimental effect on the environment,” he said.

According to Santara, no date has been set for construction of the site. Legal documents had been submitted to the relevant institutions and he was waiting for the documents to be returned.

“We are waiting for the Ministry of Environment to issue a construction permit. When we receive the permit, we will seek contributions from the surrounding districts and investment companies. The ministry pays close attention to this kind of project,” he said.

Santara added that the new dump site is close to the old one, which was too small to meet the daily needs of the district.

He called on the public to follow the guidelines issued by authorities to ensure that waste is disposed of in the most efficient fashion.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra could not be reached for comment on March 6. But he said earlier that part of the government’s national policy was to improve the management of solid waste.

The ministry has been providing training to officials in the sub-national administrations to ensure they have the necessary skills.