The Japanese government has provided more than $180,000 in grant to build a bridge in Kampong Speu and restore an irrigation system in Kampong Cham, with nearly 8,000 people in both provinces expected to benefit from the projects.

The grant agreement was signed on December 5 by Ichitomo Taninai, deputy chief of mission at the Japanese embassy in Phnom Penh, Su Sunthara, director of the Kampong Speu provincial Department of Public Works and Transport, and Om Vibol, director of the Kampong Cham provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology.

The bridge, located in Kampong Speu’s Omlaing commune, has a budget of nearly $100,000. The current wooden bridge, which is rotten and vulnerable to heavy rains, will be replaced by a new concrete structure. During the rainy season, the existing bridge is often cut off by water, forcing residents to take an extensive detour, which costs them time and money.

“We expect this project to benefit 3,300 people by facilitating the transportation of agricultural products throughout the year,” said an embassy press release.

The project will contribute to improving people’s livelihoods and students’ attendance at schools.

The Tuol Andet irrigation restoration project in Kampong Cham province – with a budget of more than $80,000 – will restore three dams in Prey Chhor district, as they do not store enough rainwater during the rainy season.

“The water supply for daily use is insufficient and farming is unstable and dependent on rainfall. We expect that this project will benefit more than 4,500 people,” added the release.

Both grants are part of a small-scale humanitarian scheme called the “KUSANONE Grant”, which was launched in 1991 to support grassroots development.

Over the past 30 years, KUSANONE has contributed to more than 660 projects across the Kingdom.

“We are pleased that we have directly contributed to improving the quality of life of Cambodians at the grassroots level. I thank the Cambodian government, all relevant institutions and our embassy staff for working together to complete these projects,” said Taninai.