The government of Japan has donated 10 new bin lorries to the Ministry of Environment, which has added an additional five trucks. The fifteen sanitation support vehicles will be distributed to several provinces in order to expand waste collection services.

The July 18 handover ceremony was held at the ministry’s headquarters and was presided over by environment minister Say Sam Al and Japanese ambassador Masahiro Mikami.

The Japanese assistance was provided through the 3 Services 3 Support project for clean living and clean villages.

According to the ministry, the 15 vehicles were will be delivered to the Departments of Environment in 11 towns and districts in Kampong Chhnang, Banteay Meanchey, Koh Kong, Kampong Speu, Kep, Takeo, Stung Treng, Svay Rieng, Pursat, Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap provinces, and will provide cleaning, collection and transportation services for solid waste.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post that the provision of the trucks meant district administrations now had adequate means to collect rubbish in towns and villages.

“Japan gave us 10 trucks. We added another five from our operations budget, because we support all institutions down to the sub-national level,” he said.

He said that so far, the ministry has provided 58 bin lorries to the capital and 21 provinces.

Director of the Takeo provincial Department of Environment Chhom Bunly, who attended the event, thanked the governments of Cambodia and Japan for providing these vehicles.

“Takeo province will receive three rubbish trucks. One will be used in Kiri Vong district, one in Bati and one in Donkeo town. We previously received two trucks, so these new ones mean we have five. Unfortunately, this is not enough to meet demand comfortably, as we have 10 districts in the province. This means there is still the risk of excess rubbish building up. Tram Kak district and some of the national roads are still full of rubbish,” he added.

He said that he will continue to monitor local waste management services and promote regular collections.

“I urge all municipal administrations to find partners if they are unable to deliver adequate services. It is possible that they could give the work to contractors, who would make daily reports to the provincial environment departments. We will forward these reports to national level officials,” he said.

He remained determined to make sure that Takeo province has excellent rubbish management, through educational outreach and practical implementation.

“These trucks are not cheap. We are determined that they will be operating daily. We have also explained to the public that they should place rubbish in front of their houses for disposal, and should bag it so it is easy for the truck to collect,” he said.

Thanks to these trucks, district administrations will be able to take control of solid waste management, a key step in the implementation of the government’s safe village-commune policy, he added.