The Office of the Council of Ministers (OCM) has approved plans to improve and add capacity to water treatment facilities in coastal and construction areas, sewage systems and mud drying facilities in Sihanoukville after they were inspected and assessed by government institutions.
The statement of approval was signed by OCM secretary of state Chhit Sokhon on November 8. It includes the improvement of a water treatment and mud drying facility in Sihanoukville covering an area of more than 16ha.
In order to increase daily water processing from 5,700 cubic metres to 25,000 cubic metres, the government needs to install an additional mechanised system. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport will execute the plan which will take three to five months to complete.
The National Committee for the Management and Development of the Coastal Zone (NCMD), the ministry, and Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities will install water treatment facilities at Independence beach, O’Samat, Sokha beach and Ochheuteal and transfer all wastewater in those areas to water treatment facilities, preventing dirty water flowing into the sea.
The statement said the construction sites must be surrounded by fences 80cm high to prevent solid and liquid waste escaping onto roads, beaches, lakes and public areas, thus helping to ensure public safety, social order, cleanliness and environmental health.
Preah Sihanouk provincial hall spokesperson and director of the province’s department of information Or Saroeun told The Post on Monday that he applauded the government decision because the province’s sewage system is very small and broken in some areas.
When it rains, water flows from the hillsides, while people throw waste in public areas. This ends up blocking the city’s drains and polluting Sihanoukville.
“We already have water treatment facilities, but they do not meet the city’s requirements. In the past, this was adequate but due to population increase, it is not enough. We need to expand the facilities’ capacity,” he said.
Ministry spokesman Vasim Sorya told The Post on Monday: “Clearly, this statement will lead to increased efficiency because the issues are inter-ministerial.
“For example, the Ministry of Environment has its own plans and strategies, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport have their strategies, while provincial authorities have their own mechanisms to increase efficiency.”