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Female youth group running 30-day cleaning campaign in Preah Sihanouk

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The GVS is running a cleaning campaign to raise awareness among people in Preah Sihanouk province on proper waste disposal and management between November 29 and December 29. Photo supplied

Female youth group running 30-day cleaning campaign in Preah Sihanouk

Youth group, Girl Volunteers for Society (GVS), is running a “30-day cleaning campaign in Preah Sihanouk” to raise awareness among people in the province on proper waste disposal and management.

The campaign which started on November 29 will end on December 29.

GVS representative Keo Tithlida said the group wanted Preah Sihanouk residents to become “good role model houseowners”, and show their pride to tourists.

She said that 50 university students from Phnom Penh are taking part in the campaign to clean the environment and spread environmental education messages at schools from Friday to Sunday.

“We held the campaign because we see the waste management problem that came along with Sihanoukville’s rapid development.

“Sihanoukville is a tourist destination, but we see a lot of rubbish, especially construction and plastic waste that was left behind everywhere. We urged Sihanoukville residents to be good role models for waste management,” Tithlida said.

She said the waste problem in Preah Sihanouk was caused by residents and foreigners who failed to manage their waste. The residents should put a stop to the bad waste disposal habits, she stressed.

“Besides collecting waste and cleaning the environment, we want foreigners living in Sihanoukville and [other parts of] the country to respect the law [and regulations].

“They should love the environment in Sihanoukville and the whole of Cambodia,” she said.

Tithlida said the campaign had also attracted 200 youths who would join in next weekend. When the campaign ends, the group would form another group to tackle the waste that remained in Sihanoukville.

Kampong Som Waste Management (KSWM) representative Heng Peng Hak welcomed the campaign. He said it would set a good example to those who have yet to see the importance of good waste management.

“Collecting waste and cleaning the environment is different from touring [to educate the public]. We need to do it regularly to help people understand. It is not an easy task to make people kick their bad waste management habits,” he said.

Peng Hak said the amount of waste in Preah Sihanouk had fallen after many Chinese nationals returned home.

He said the province produced between 800 and 900 tonnes of waste a day early last year. But now, it produced between 350 and 400 tonnes daily. He said that KSWM had 94 trucks to (collect and) transport waste.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said last month that waste production in Cambodia’s downtown areas stood at 100,000 tonnes a day. This translates to about four million tonnes of waste annually.

He noted that Phnom Penh produced 3,000 tonnes of waste daily while Sihanoukville generated 700 tonnes. Siem Reap produced 400 tonnes a day.

He said 65 per cent of the waste was wet rubbish, 20 per cent plastics and more than 10 per cent solid waste.

Besides, 20 per cent of the waste was recycled, while the rest was placed in public places, he said.


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