The Japanese government has provided more than $200,000 in grant aid for the installation of a water supply system in Siem Reap province as part of its KUSANONE Grassroots Human Security Projects.

Ichitomo Taninai, deputy chief of mission at the Japanese embassy in Cambodia, and the representative of the recipient organisation carrying out the project signed the grant contract.

The Japanese embassy said $204,637 had been provided to the recipient under the KUSANONE framework.

The water supply system in Kampong Khlaing commune in Siem Reap province’s Sotr Nikum district is to be constructed with an approximately 8km water distribution network, it added.

“Most of the people living in this area have difficulty accessing safe drinking water and face health risks due to the lack of a water supply facility within the commune.

“Through this project, more than 2,700 people will have an access to affordable clean water,” the Japanese embassy said.

Taninai said this was the first economic assistance project to be signed on the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Cambodia.

“While I am pleased to see Cambodia’s recent rapid development, I also recognise that some challenges remain and need to be addressed to improve people’s livelihoods,” he said.

Japan would continue contributing to addressing such challenges with its economic cooperation and development projects, including KUSANONE, he added.

KUSANONE means “grassroots” in Japanese, and the Japanese embassy in Cambodia has provided KUSANONE grants to more than 700 grassroots level projects in the Kingdom since the project began.

In 2003, the name of the scheme was changed to “Grassroots Human Security Projects” to reflect an increased focus on human security.

Taninai said that since 1991, in addition to large loan and grant projects, the Japanese government has implemented KUSANONE in Cambodia to help local authorities and non-governmental organisations implement projects.

“We are pleased that these projects have contributed directly to improving the quality of living of Cambodian people at the grassroots level,” he said.

The assistance aims to protect those who are vulnerable due to factors such as poverty, or who have suffered misfortune that directly threatens their lives, livelihood or dignity, as well as promote the self-reliance of local communities.

Since 1991, the Japanese government has provided more than $66million, mainly to local authorities and non-governmental organisations, for the implementing of 701 KUSANONE projects throughout Cambodia.

The Ministry of Rural Development has set the target of providing 100 per cent clean water supply and sanitation services throughout the Kingdom by 2025, with more than 80 per cent currently achieved.

Ministry spokesman Chrun Theravat said officials are continuing to implement the National Action Plan on Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Phase 2 (2019-2023) in order to cover 90 per cent of the country with access to clean water and sanitation services in rural areas by 2023.