The Ministry of Environment has received further assistance from China in the form of air quality, volume and vibration gauges. The equipment was provided as part of the China-South climate cooperation project on establishing low-carbon demonstration zones.
Cambodia has now installed 49 air quality gauges nationwide and is preparing to deploy additional equipment to increase the efficiency of data collection regarding air quality.
The shipment via the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port on May 14 consisted of 10 air quality monitoring stations and 10 volume and vibration measuring gauges, along with other equipment courtesy of China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
According to the environment ministry, the air quality control stations and other equipment will be installed at 10 target locations in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Svay Rieng, Stung Treng, Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Speu and Preah Sihanouk.
Its spokesman Neth Pheaktra said on May 16 that the ministry had requested the air quality monitors, as well as further technical assistance from China and Japan.
“We will install more devices to increase efficiency in collecting data from all points throughout Cambodia and then report back on the state of Cambodia’s air quality,” he said.
Out of the 49 locations that have been equipped, 11 air quality metres have been installed in Phnom Penh. Another 38 air quality monitors have been installed throughout the country.
“The purpose of installing these devices is to determine how the air quality in each area has been developing because clean air is a basic requirement to maintain the health of our people,” Pheaktra said.
He said that in Cambodia the air quality is good throughout most parts of the country, but the air quality in some urban areas may remain an issue.
According to the environment ministry, in early January last year the concentration of inert particles in the air increased beyond the standard or acceptable amount and this posed a risk to human health and the environment.
However, the situation returned to normal after the ministry introduced preventive measures such as banning the burning of forestland and prohibiting the burning of rubbish.
According to the ministry, the factor that is of most concern for the health of Cambodians is the concentration of tiny particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns.
These particles can come from burning fossil fuels or from dust generally and can be absorbed into the lungs and sometimes into blood vessels, which can be harmful to human health if absorbed beyond a certain limit.