Within the next two years, a project to expand the water supply treatment centre in Takhmao town of Kandal province will be completed. The expansion will give the plant the capacity to produce 30,000 cubic metres of clean water per day, enough to meet the needs of the whole of Kandal province and the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

Financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the project is now more than 10 per cent complete, with a raw water pumping station and meter system already in place.

Cham Prasidh, Minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, said Japan has played an important role in the development of Cambodia, especially in its contributions to ensuring a sustainable water supply service.

“The expansion of the Takhmao water treatment plant comes as the population continues to grow steadily. In addition to the demands of the new residents, the area will soon be the site of a new international airport,” he added.

Prasidh said that since 2004, clean water has been supplied by a small plant with a capacity of only 50 cubic metres per day. This has led to series of shortages, despite additional connections from the state-owned utility Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA).

He added that once construction was complete, the new plant would be a gamechanger, as it will easily meet demand, even after the new airport becomes operational.

He reminded local authorities of the importance of protecting water sources, especially treatment plants.

Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan expressed his excitement for the people of Takhmao.

“The new treatment plant will improve the daily lives of all of our residents. Without a supply of clean water, it is hard to guarantee the health of your family,” he said.

JICA have provided approximately $30 million in funding to complete the project, which began in June this year. The plant is expected to come on stream in December 2024.

As a special purpose company project, maintenance and quality control will be guaranteed by Japan for 10 years. The plant will sell water wholesale to the PPWSA for no more than 500 riel per cubic metre.

Outgoing Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami takes pride in the project.

“Although I will end my diplomatic mission soon, I believe my successors will improve Cambodia-Japan relations, and will promote the development of clean water treatment plants for the people of Cambodia,” he said.