Clean water and electricity are now being provided to almost 100 per cent of homes in Kanpong Cham, with provincial authorities saying full coverage will be achieved by 2025.
At a February 1 press conference held at the Council of Ministers to discuss developmental progress in Kampong Cham, provincial council chairman Khlot Phorn said that clean water now reached 107 of 109 communes, equal to 98.16 per cent, and 94.32 per cent of the province’s 916 villages. And electricity was now connected to 914 villages, meaning 99.78 per cent of villages were on the grid.
“The electricity and clean water story is a miracle, because in Cambodia we had never before achieved this level of access. In Kampong Cham there are just two villages that still lack electricity,” he said, adding that clean water and electricity had been connected in even the remotest areas.
Oum Vibol, director of the provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology, said there were two communes in Stung Trang district which had not found investors willing to provide clean water.
“These two communes are very remote and far from water resources. The investment potential is not favourable, because houses in these communes are scattered. A cost-price analysis has shown that providing clean water is not economically viable,” he said.
He pointed out that the government’s policy on clean water meant that 100 per cent of the nation would receive it by 2025. He urged existing service providers to expand the water distribution network to reach the target population base.
Ly Chanthy, director of the provincial Department of Mines and Energy, said that of the two villages that did not have access to electricity, one was in a very remote area, while another is on a small island in the middle of the river in Kang Meas district, making it difficult to connect to electricity.
“One village in Stung Trang district is located in a private rubber plantation area. [State-owned] Electricite du Cambodge and provincial electricity authority have tried to expand into that area, but currently they have not found a solution,” he said, referring to one remote village.
Provincial council chairman Phorn said that the policy of decentralisation and deconcentration, which empowered and funded communes, had played an important role in local development and accomplished a lot.
He said that in 2021, the provincial administration had 17 development projects, while communes had 139 projects and districts had 34. The policy was a new concept for Cambodia, and facilitated development closer to the people.
“I give the example that in the past, to develop a commune, we were not provided with our own operating budget. Everything had to be approved and implemented by ministries and institutions at a national level. This often meant that some communes received regular funding, and some did not.
“But since the introduction of the decentralization and deconcentration policy, communes have their own funds. This fund keeps growing year on year, meaning we can achieve strong development in our communes,” he said.