Japan has awarded Cambodia a 2.77 billion yen ($25.9 million) grant for a sewer development project in Phnom Penh to help ease flooding in parts of the capital, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said on Wednesday.
Its minister who is also Deputy Prime Minister, Prak Sokhonn, and Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami, are set to sign the grant documents on Thursday.
With the funds, Japan will assist in building a wastewater treatment station for water to be processed before it is released into Choeung Ek lake in the south of Phnom Penh.
A press release from the ministry said: “Japan’s assistance will significantly contribute to the improvement of the living environment in Cambodia”.
Municipal Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey told The Post that it will implement the project once the Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) have been signed.
People’s Centre for Development and Peace president Yong Kim Eng welcomed the Japanese grant and heralded the country for playing a major role in developing Phnom Penh’s sewage system over the years.
He said Phnom Penh is facing a crisis due to the shortcomings of its current sewage system, which is clogged and resulted in the capital flooding when it rained. Kim Eng said the problem is exacerbated by lakes, canals and sewage systems being filled in to build houses.
“We cannot just depend on Japan. We have to make efforts to protect our lakes and canals, which must not be filled in. We must keep them and make them larger to make the water flow easily.
“Japan cannot make 100 per cent of our sewage system for us. If we continue to fill in lakes in Phnom Penh, it is a big concern and we may face a major crisis with flooding. As we see, when it rains, black water comes out of the sewers,” he said.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Ket Sophann was unable to further clarify the project’s details on Wednesday.