Minister of Rural Development Chhay Rithisen and Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Atsushi Ueno have committed to bolstering cooperation between the two countries, particularly in non-urban development and clean water education.

The agreement was reached during a September 11 meeting.

According to the ministry, Cambodia has already accomplished 80 per cent of its safe water supply plan. The country aims for universal access to uncontaminated water and sanitation, as well as the elimination of open defecation through the introduction of latrines, by 2025.

“We’ve developed policies to improve rural economies through infrastructure, as well as to promote people’s wellbeing by educating people on hygienic water usage,” stated Rithisen.

Ueno praised the ministry’s past efforts, adding that Japan plans to enhance collaboration with the new government to further development.

Hang Hybunna, programme director of Plan International Cambodia, supported the initiative, stating that increased cooperation will ensure residents have sufficient potable water, thus improving health and reducing disease.

“I urge all relevant bodies to focus more on education and spreading awareness about these issues, especially in remote areas,” he added.

The Kingdom’s National Policy on Rural Water Supply and Sanitation mandates that all outlying communities must have access to clean water and live in hygienic conditions by 2025.