Despite the establishment of the Cambodian Clean Water Supplier Association last week, the clean water sector still lacks sufficient investment to connect rural Cambodia.
“The quality of clean water is only sufficient downtown in cities, while rural and other small communities lack clean water,” said Secretay of State for the Ministry for Industry, Mines and Energy Phork Sovanrith.
There is very little clean water in Cambodia and accelerating its supply requires the government, private sector and other development partners to work together, he said.
According to Phork Sovanrith, investment in the clean water sector is compared to other sectors which have attracted investment capital.
“The huge gap between the demand for investment and the amount of real investment at the moment led to deceleration of development,” he says.
Kov Phearom, facilitator of the Water Supply Project of the World Bank, said there are two main obstacles to extending the water supply: getting a loan from banks and demotivating government regulations, such as the three-year licence required for water suppliers.
“If the government wants the private sector to participate more in clean water development, the government has to play a key role in facilitating a better business environment,” he said.
“What the private sector is concerned about is the high price of connecting to the villagers’ homes,” Kov Phearom said.
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