The Japanese government has pledged nearly $350,000 in aid to support education and clean water initiatives in Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom and Mondulkiri provinces. The aid is provided through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (KUSANONE).

A recent press release from the Japanese embassy in Cambodia said Kampong Speu’s Department of Education, Youth and Sport will receive nearly $93,000. These funds are earmarked for the construction of facilities at Sre Ken Primary School in the province’s Oral district.

Similarly, slightly more than $100,000 has been allocated for construction at Russei Douch Primary School in Kampong Thom province’s Prasat Balang district. The provincial education department is the designated recipient of these funds.

A sum of more than $155,000 has also been granted to the Mondulkiri Water Utility for the implementation of a clean water supply system in Mondulkiri province’s Sen Monorom town.

The formal grant contract was signed at the Japanese embassy in Phnom Penh by Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Atsushi Ueno and representatives from the aforementioned institutions.

Ueno highlighted that in a span of 30 years, the embassy has participated in over 680 projects nationwide through the KUSANONE Grant initiative.

“We are pleased that these projects have directly contributed to the betterment of life at the grassroots level in Cambodia. Nevertheless, I recognise that certain challenges persist, requiring resolution to further elevate the quality of life,” he said.

He affirmed Japan’s commitment to addressing these challenges through development assistance projects, including the KUSANONE Grant.

Thorn Tharin, head of the Kampong Speu provincial education department, noted during the ceremony that the Sre Ken Primary School has experienced an enrolment increase of 159 students. Due to insufficient classroom space, students are currently studying in substandard wooden huts, which has become a hindrance to local students’ education.

The Japanese embassy then offered the grant to construct a new building.

“This clearly demonstrates the care and interest of the Japanese government and its people towards the Cambodian people, particularly the students at Sre Ken Primary School,” Tharin said.

Tan Bunhong, te director of the Kampong Thom provincial education department, explained that the grant would be directed towards the construction of a six-room building, a hand-washing facility, and a 2,000-litre water tank within the school premises.

“Russei Douch Primary School faced a shortage of classrooms, as a four-room wooden building was constructed back in 1994. Unfortunately, this building had deteriorated and fallen into a state of disrepair, leading us to close it three years ago. Presently, some of our students are studying in huts and kitchens due to the lack of adequate space. Furthermore, the school has been grappling with a shortage of hand-washing facilities, chairs and tables,” Bunhong remarked.

Sor Sovannarith, director of the Water Supply Authority in Mondulkiri province, expressed gratitude on behalf of the local populace. He extended thanks to the people and government of Japan for their unwavering support of Cambodia’s development, provided without any conditions. This assistance has enabled hundreds of thousands of families to access sustainable clean drinking water, making a genuine and positive impact on the well-being and livelihoods of the people.

“The assistance and support provided have been truly invaluable, etched in the memory of all Cambodians. It’s noteworthy that this marks the second time that the people of Sen Monorom town have received Japan’s support in the clean water sector,” he highlighted.

He continued that the initial grant was extended within the framework of the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) Development Triangle Project, primarily allocated for the creation of a water supply system. This system, capable of producing 2,000 cubic metres daily, was implemented in 2016. The continuous assistance and support have played a pivotal role in driving the development of Mondulkiri province forward.