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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Water-treatment plants to meet rising demand

Water-treatment plants to meet rising demand

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The plant hopes to supply water for over 140,000 families

Heng Chivoan

Anco hopes to bring inexpensive tap water that’s ready to drink to more than 140,000 families.

ALOCAL company has disclosed details of its more than US$6 million investment in two water-treatment plants  that are intended to supply Cambodia's rapidly growing population with clean water.

The Anco Brothers' plants  will eventually supply fresh water to some 144,000 families, said company owner Phu Kok An.

One plant, located in Kandal's Kien Svay district, became operational last month, while another is yet to be built.

Phu Kok An, who is also a  Cambodian People's Party senator, said the plants will secure much-needed water in regions where growing populations have taxed local supplies.

Construction began last year when the company broke ground on the Kien Svay plant, and a second facility in Sihanoukville is forthcoming.

"The $2 million facility in Kien Svay has already supplied clean water to about 4,000 of the 30,000 families in the district since production began last month," Phu Kok An said.

Local residents pay 1,700 riels ($0.43) per cubic metre, he said.

Heng Thiem, governor of Kien Svay, said greater awareness of the health risks of unsafe water has made district residents shun well and river water for clean water supplies. "We expect the water-treatment plant will improve the health of our families here," he said.

The new Sihanoukville plant will harness water from the Kbal Chay waterfall to produce as much as 1.5 million cubic metres of water in the first year of operations, Phu Kok An said, adding that the cost will be 1,000 riels ($0.25) per cubic metre.

"We have invested an additional $4 million to fund the new Sihanoukville plant, and we expect it will be completed in three months," he said.

"We hope this project will maintain sustainable water supplies for at least the next 30 years," he said.

Prak Chanroeun, head of Sihanoukville's Department of Industry, Mines and Energy, said the municipality faces a clean-water shortage of nearly 50 percent.

Nearly 140,000 families in Sihanoukville require about 12,000 cubic metres of clean water daily, but local authorities can provide only about 6,000 cubic metres, he said.

A Ministry of Environment official would not comment on whether Anco has an environmental permit.

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