Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phnom Penh promised clean water by 2001

Phnom Penh promised clean water by 2001

Phnom Penh promised clean water by 2001

Phnom Penh's clean water supply problems might become a thing of the past on March

10, 2001 following the completion of a World Bank-funded project rehabilitating Phnom

Penh's Chruoy Changvar Mekong River water treatment plant.

The work has been made possible by a US$10 million World Bank loan funneled through

the Cambodian government to the semi-private Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA).

Built in 1885 during the French Protectorate era, the Chruoy Changvar facility has

been non-operational since 1992 due to technical problems.

"There was no immediate calamity behind its closure," explained Robert

T. Board, an engineer with Parsons International Ltd. which is overseeing the project's

completion. "It was just knackered and the government didn't have enough money

to fix it."

While questions were raised when the contractor that was awarded the construction

contract, China International Water and Electrical Corporation, submitted a bid that

was a full $5 million lower than the estimated cost of the project, Board says the

unspent money won't be wasted.

"The five million dollars saved will be spent on a pilot sanitation project

[in Phnom Penh]," Board told the Post. "Basically we'll take an area the

size of Toul Kork and put in a sewage system and make it like a real city."

Work at Chruoy Changvar began in Sep 1999 with the demolition of the original century-old

facility, and the project's 250 workers are well on the way to completing a state-of-the-art

water filtering and purification system capable of satisfying the capital's projected

water needs.

"The waterworks will have the capacity to produce sixty-four thousand cubic

meters of water every day, enough to supply Phnom Penh's projected water needs for

the next three years," Board explained.

Board says the completion of the Chruoy Changvar waterworks project is good news

for a country in which the leading cause of death, gastroenteritis, is directly linked

to unhygienic water supplies.

"Basically [Mekong River water] is good water...it's got a neutral ph and just

has mud in it with no nasty taste or smells," he said. "But the plant is

designed so that the water it produces will meet or even exceed World Health Organization

standards."

According to Board, rehabilitation of the old waterworks is just one part of a $30

million dollar World Bank project to upgrade and modernize Phnom Penh's anarchic

water supply system.

"Another project is to stop water leaks and water stealing," he said. "Leaks

are the biggest problem due to the old and convoluted design of the water pipe system."

Concerns about inadvertent blending of sewage with clean water from the Chruoy Changvar

facility will apparently be addressed by a project to be funded by the Asian Development

Bank (ADB).

"The ADB will provide funding to fix up the city's water pipes," Board

said, adding "They'll dig up most of Phnom Penh to do that."

MOST VIEWED

  • Man arrested for fake PM endorsement

    The owner of currency exchange company GCG Asia Co Ltd was temporarily detained by the court yesterday for attempted fraud after Prime Minister Hun Sen reacted to the company using his name and pictures to allege his endorsement of the firm. Phnom Penh Municipal Court

  • Archeologists find ancient phallic statue

    An archeological team has found a metre-long tipless stone linga (penis) of the Hindu deity Shiva in the foundations of a temple in Kratie province’s historical Samphu Borak area, a former capital of the pre-Angkor Empire Chenla period. Thuy Chanthourn, the deputy director of

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on

  • Police seek arrest of Chinese ‘gang’

    Cambodian police remain on the lookout for 20 Chinese nationals who earlier this month posted a video clip threatening to stoke insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province, though the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh maintained the group posed no threats to Cambodia’s national security. National Police