The Ministry of Tourism and the National Committee for Clean City Evaluation have extended their cooperation with River Ocean Cleanup and Everwave and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand the scope of its river clean-up campaigns to provinces across Cambodia. The agreement comes after the success of a campaign in Phnom Penh.

At a May 10 workshop to disseminate the results of the Phnom Penh operation – which employed the specialised rubbish collection boat CollectiX – tourism ministry secretary of state Chea Bora said the new campaigns would be launched with the same partners.

“Seeing both the results and future potential of these clean-up campaigns, we have agreed in principle to continue to work with River Ocean Cleanup and Everwave to expand operations across the Kingdom. Ultimately, we intend to conduct these campaigns wherever rivers or lakes are polluted by rubbish,” he said.

The ministry said the clean city committee and the two social enterprises – in collaboration with Phnom Penh Municipal Hall – launched the campaign to clean up the Mekong, Tonle Sap Lake and Tonle Sap Rivers in Phnom Penh on March 18.

“It is a testament to the success of the work that we are signing this historic MoU,” he said.

Bora called on the public to take part in cleaning up rivers and lakes and to stop littering in order to preserve the natural environment. “Only by working together could we preserve natural beauty and achieve cleanliness and good sanitation, all of which are essential to drive the post-Covid recovery of the tourism industry.”

Clean City head Huot Rithy said it was planned to expand the clean-up campaigns across the Kingdom, to address waste pollution in all bodies of water.

“We request the cooperation of local authorities in all provinces. If they can choose locations and provide cooperation, the campaign will be successfully implemented,” he said.

He added that if there is garbage in any river or body of water, provincial or local authorities can request the services of the CollectiX boat, and Clean City will do their best to arrange it.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon previously said that the campaign to clean up the Mekong, Tonle Sap Lake and Tonle Sap River was of the utmost importance, and that it could not be done without the collaboration of River Ocean Cleanup and Everwave.

“We have the full participation of our people, but tools that can solve technical problems are important. Even though we have all the will in the world, without the technology, it is not possible,” he said.