The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology is currently constructing over 1,000 cubic metres of drainage systems in Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal province. It is also redirecting existing systems in order to prevent inflow into these areas, as part of urgent work to reduce flooding in the capital.

Minister Thor Chetha carried out a recent inspection of the projects, according to the ministry’s December 8 press release.

During the inspection, Chetha reiterated that Prime Minister Hun Manet has issued instructions to all relevant institutions to resolve any issues related to the flooding of streams and rivers. They must monitor floodplains regularly.

He explained that the ministry has prepared a development plan which will modernise flood release and water redirection infrastructure from Phnom Penh. This will ensure the security and safety of the public in the capital – and parts of Kandal province – effectively and sustainably.

“The construction of the new water release and redirection system will allow us to redirect a large amount of water at about 1,300 cubic metres per second. This is in response to threats to Phnom Penh and its satellite areas. We will be capable of diverting excess water into the Tonle Sap Lake, Mekong River and Bassac River as early as possible,” said Chetha.

The redirections include from the Roleang Chrey Khang Tboung area in Kampong Speu province, along the Prek Khsach, Prek Daun Stung and Prek Peam Satha creeks, as well as the many streams and canals that bring alluvial soil to Phnom Penh and Kandal.

In addition to inspecting the water release systems, Chetha also inspected the work of the Roleang Chrey Khang Tboung main canal project and the Stung Toch Rehabilitation Project in Samrong Tong and Kong Pisey districts, both in Kampong Speu Province.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Phnom Penh City Hall are also tasked with releasing floodwaters from inside Phnom Penh, through sewer and drain systems and wastewater treatment infrastructure.

The water resources ministry is currently implementing the National Irrigation Standards Development Project, which began in 2022 and will be completed in 2024.

In addition, the Irrigation Rehabilitation Project and the Phnom Penh Southwest Water Release System, which began construction this year, are scheduled to be completed in 2026, through cooperation with Japan.