Siem Reap provincial authorities have inaugurated a treatment plant which will convert sewage into organic fertiliser. The plant will contribute to improved sewage management in Siem Reap town.

Ing Kimleang, deputy provincial governor, addressed the May 20 inauguration ceremony.

“This project will make a significant contribution to public hygiene and the general framework of sewage management in Siem Reap. It will play a part in preserving the beauty and clean environment of the town, a unique tourist destination which is based on natural culture and a long and famous history,” he said.

“The organic fertiliser plant is a valuable multi-sectoral project that will contribute to the social welfare and living standards of farmers. It will create fertilisers that will supply the local agriculture sector at lower than current market prices,” he explained.

Chik Kimchun, deputy chief of administration, said the project had been completed with the financial and technical support of the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF), the Greater Paris Interdepartmental Sanitation Authority (SIAAP) and the Inter-Provincial Union for Sanitation in Paris (SIAAP), under the auspices of the French development partners in Siem Reap province, at a cost of approximately $2.1 million.

Construction of the treatment plant, in Svay Dangkum commune’s Kantrak village, was begun in May last year and completed on March 31.

According to Kimchun, provincial authorities plan to build another similar plant on 50ha in the eastern part of the town in the near future.

Yang Saing Koma, secretary of state for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, recently noted that the ministry had long encouraged the use of organic compost or fertiliser.

“Organic fertiliser can maintain better quality crops and reduce the use of chemical fertilisers, which can affect the quality of the soil we used for cultivation.

“In a recent field visit to Kampong Cham province’s Cheung Prey district, I noted that about half of the farmers there are using animal dung as fertiliser. We encourage more farmers to embrace the use of organic fertiliser,” he said.