The Ministry of Public Works and Transport, in collaboration with the World Bank, has developed an action plan to accelerate the implementation of projects to improve clean water supply and sanitation in the country’s cities and provinces.

Ros Vanna, ministry secretary of state, said an inter-ministerial working group and representatives of the World Bank met on February 17 to discuss their achievements and analyse technical issues with the project implementers, the status of financial management and procurement. Progress was evaluated, and defects were also discussed.

“We discussed challenges such as institutional development, especially the service agencies of sewerage and wastewater treatment plants. The unit in charge of reviewing the implementation of the action plan examined ways to expedite the project more efficiently and sustainably,” he added.

Vanna said that the project is supported by the World Bank, with the help of the ministry.

According to the ministry, Marie Krumova Chapuis, co-team leader of the World Bank, said the project focuses on developing the clean water and sanitation sector to ensure the well-being of people and improve their livelihoods through the construction of water and wastewater networks in major capitals and provinces and the development of institutions and operator capacity in the sector.

Plan International Cambodia programme manager Hang Hybunna also expressed support for the project.

“Despite the development of urban areas, some areas still face challenges accessing clean water and sanitation because the water supply system is not yet fully available. Some people cannot access enough information and are paying too much for clean water,” he said.

Hybunna said that in order for the project to be effective, the ministry needs to clearly identify the most vulnerable groups and how to respond to them.

The government has launched a national strategic plan for clean water in order for the urban people to have access to clean water by 2025, while by 2030 it will ensure nationwide access to drinking water.

According to the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, by 2023, it will supply about 660,000 cubic meters of clean water per day to 450,000 families. However, current demand is around 800,000 cubic meters per day.

Cambodia and the World Bank expect to provide clean water connections to the suburbs and ensure the supply of clean water in accordance with the Royal Government’s plan by 2030.