Jica project with Water Supply Authority just one benefiting people of Cambodia.

Siem Reap province features the Angkor Wat World Heritage site – one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions – and to fully seize the opportunities available in tourism development, a stable water supply is crucial.

The Siem Reap province water supply cooperation began as the result of a request in 1993 from the Cambodian government to that of Japan to conduct a study on the “Integrated Plan for Angkor and Siem Reap Region”.

Based on the plan, Japan supported the conducting of a feasibility study and committed a Grant Aid for the construction of a water treatment plant near Siem Reap International Airport.

It was completed in 2006, with a water treatment capacity of 8,000m3/day, using underground water as the source.

After the commencement of operations, water production increased from 1,378m3/day to 9,156m3/day, with a steady, 24-hour supply of water achieved.

Stable access to clean water has contributed to a decrease in water-borne diseases and reduced the need for households to fetch water.

Currently, the water treatment plant is serving demand in northwest Siem Reap city.

And in response to a rapid increase in water demand in Siem Reap province, it came to be considered that a new large-scale water treatment plant was required.

JICA, in cooperation with the Siem Reap Water Supply Authority, conducted a feasibility study for a new water supply system from 2009 to 2011. The project’s scope covered:

• The construction of intake facilities with a capacity of 66,000m3/day with a 2.5km open channel into the Tonle Sap lake; the installation of a 19km raw water conveyance pipe and 29km treated transmission mains water distribution pipelines across Siem Reap city with a length of 259km.

• The construction of facilities for water treatment plants with a capacity of 60,000m3/day through the utilisation of surface water from the Tonle Sap lake as a water source; the installation of management and control systems including SACADA, as well as electrical and mechanical equipment.

Through three tranches of the Japanese ODA Loan totalling 16,578 million Japanese yen, the construction of the new water treatment plant was completed in May 2023.

The new treatment plant enables full access to clean, safe water for residents and tourists alike.

JICA is exploring further cooperation on the supply of water in Siem Reap to promote a sustainable tourism industry and improve people’s health in the region. Agriculture, Water and Environment Section.

Ensuring safety of Cambodian agricultural products

With the fast-paced evolution of technologies, the use of agricultural materials such as pesticides has dramatically increased in many developing countries, including Cambodia.

Therefore, to ensure food safety amid growing agricultural production in the Kingdom, it is essential to properly use high-quality pesticides to maximise agricultural productivity, with this also ensuring both human and environmental safety.

Exporting agricultural products remains one of the main pillars of Cambodia’s economy.

However, it has faced challenges in dealing with tightened pesticide residue standards set by destination countries.

For instance, in 2017, the EU, the major import region of Cambodian rice, lowered the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) of a fungicide used to control rice blast, the destructive rice disease.

Having recognised the significant impact this has had on Cambodian farmers, JICA and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) cooperated to develop controls for the pesticide regulatory system. They also worked to improve laboratory capacity in crop analysis on pesticide residue in Cambodia.

Following the agreement between JICA and MAFF, the “Project for Capacity Building for Pesticide Residue Analysis” commenced in November 2020. The project is aimed at strengthening the capacity of pesticide residue analysis, as well as pesticide regulatory compliance and enforcement.

To meet the objectives, the three-year project has provided important training to analysts from the National Agriculture Laboratory (NAL) and officials from Department of Agriculture Legislative (DAL).

It has also provided the necessary equipment for proper pesticide residue analysis methods and pesticide management activities.

The training on pesticide residue analysis in the selected combinations of active ingredients on crops – such as tomato, fresh green chilli pepper, mango and brown rice – with the use of advanced analytical instruments has been conducted to enhance the laboratory capacity of NAL’s analysts and equip them with updated techniques and skills.

In a similar vein, the project has provided DAL with the training and essential tools needed to strengthen on-site inspection activities as a substantial part of overall pesticide management in Cambodia.

The project has also supported DAL in the preparation of “Guidelines for Inspection of Pesticides and Fertilisers at Warehouses or Wholesale and Retail Establishments”, enabling inspectors to perform their duties in accordance with the legal frameworks in force.

NAL’s analysts have said the training by JICA experts had been an incredible learning experience, helping improve knowledge and professional capacity in pesticide residue analysis.

It also made them more independent in carrying out additional research to extend the scope of their analysis.

In addition, DAL’s officials were satisfied with the training and the support from the project to improve on-site inspections and carry out effective law enforcement in pesticide management. This in turn benefits pesticide inspectors, pesticide companies, wholesalers, retailers and farmers by ensuring the safety of agricultural products in Cambodia. Agriculture, Water and Environment Section.

JICA in the Cambodian energy sector

As energy demand rapidly increases with Cambodia’s economic and social development, JICA has implemented a number of projects for the development of the energy sector in close cooperation with the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), and Electricite du Cambodge (EDC).

And in January 2023 the “Project for the Development of Clean Energy Transition Roadmap towards Carbon Neutral Society” was launched – with “carbon neutrality” the key words.

With burning fossil fuels having had a significant and noticeable effect on the environment, there has been increased awareness in recent years towards sustainable development and a decrease in carbon emissions.

With the Cambodian government committed to carbon neutrality by 2050 under the Paris Agreement, the project aims to address the challenges of climate change by promoting sustainable development in the Kingdom’s energy sector.

The expected objectives are the provision of policy actions, institutional frameworks, investment projects and strategies to be implemented by relevant authorities towards a carbon neutral society.

The project team – which consists of MME, EDC and JICA experts – will formulate an energy transition roadmap comprising several scenarios in collaboration with other relevant authorities and stakeholders.

The project also seeks to introduce technological innovations and promote the adoption of renewable energy sources such as hydrogen/ammonia, and carbon dioxide capture, utilisation and storage.

Most importantly, the project aims to facilitate knowledge sharing and capacity building among stakeholders, with it contributing to further strengthening cooperation between Cambodia and Japan in addressing global energy challenges together. Infrastructure and Industrial Development Section.

Assisting survivors of trafficking in persons

JICA’s technical cooperation project on “Capacity Development for Assisting Survivors of Trafficking in Persons” started in March 2023 at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY).

As many reports show, cases of human trafficking in Cambodia have grown, with the Cambodian authorities working to tackle this problem, and MoSVY in charge of the protection of the survivors of trafficking in persons (SoTs).

While MoSVY already has a system in place to assist SoTs, the project aims to enhance service delivery capacity with a “survivor-centred approach”, in which the survivor’s wishes, safety and wellbeing take priority in all matters and procedures.

Currently, a detailed planning study to finalise the project’s design is being carried out, with the implementation of project activities expected to start in October 2023 with a duration of three years.

As a result, JICA strongly believes the project will contribute towards both the social and economic development of Cambodia, and the commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5. Social Development and Governance Section.