Two boat crews which won four races at last month's Water Festival in Phnom Penh
have each been awarded $100 from the Italian NGO Manitese.
"It's a goodwill gesture," says the NGO's coordinator, Giorgio Vecco.
"Most of the oarsmen are farmers benefiting from our project and it enhances
the successful relationship we have with them," he told the Post.
At a ceremony at Wat Kean Svay Krav in Kean Svay district, Kandal, the oarsmen from
Wat Ampaworn in the same district lined up alongside their red pirogue to receive
the award from Vecco.
This is the second year that Manitese has supported teams at Phnom Penh's annual
water festival and for many in the two crews it was their first race.
"I haven't rowed since the old Sihanouk days," said Lim Oung.
"We only practiced for three days. Of course, I got tired, but the cheers of
the crowd kept me going."
Manitese has worked on the Sre Ampil irrigation scheme which has irrigated 3,400
hectares of land, ensuring rice production for 7,000 farmers.
With a budget of $1 million for a three-year project, it has donated nine tractors,
built garages and offices at the site, and trained 25 local staff.