The Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) commended the government for enacting the new Law on Clean Water Management, saying it will improve transparency and equity in the provision of water supply services.

The law, which sets out the legal framework for the management and development of clean water supply, was promulgated on March 11.

“The Law on the Management of Clean Water is Cambodia’s first in the field of water supply and was examined thoroughly during the drafting phase,” said a March 27 joint statement from JICA and the industry ministry.

The two signatories have implemented a series of joint projects in the field of clean water development, and worked together on Phase Three of the project to strengthen the management capacity of Cambodia’s urban clean water sector, which ran from 2012 to 2018.

The statement said the law should contribute to improved public health and more inclusive living standards.

“The law promotes transparency and equity in the provision of water supply services, ensures equality and non-discrimination between water service providers and recipients, encourages national and international investors to invest in clean water, and outlines four conditions for its provision: water must be high-quality, safe, sustainable and affordable,” it added.

Hang Hybunna, programme manager at Plan International Cambodia, also expressed support for the establishment of the new law, noting that there was previously a policy in place, which was not as clearly defined as the law.

“Through this law, the management of the clean water sector will be transparent and comprehensive, which can only benefit the public,” he said.

He urged the relevant institutions to disseminate of the law as widely as possible, so it could be enforced as soon as possible.

The joint statement said that JICA was a long-term development partner in the clean water sector in Cambodia. Through it, the government of Japan was committed to working closely with the government of Cambodia to strengthen long-term strategic partnerships and achieve full access to clean water for the people of Cambodia.