Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phnom Penh’s sewers criticised

Phnom Penh’s sewers criticised

The road leading to the Ministry of Environment in Phnom Penh. Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng chided the ministry for the dirtiness of the surrounding streets.
The road leading to the Ministry of Environment in Phnom Penh. Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng chided the ministry for the dirtiness of the surrounding streets. Heng Chivoan

Phnom Penh’s sewers criticised

Interior Minister Sar Kheng bemoaned Phnom Penh’s sewage infrastructure and criticised the Ministry of Environment for allowing untreated waste water to flow into the Mekong and Bassac rivers in unscripted remarks on Monday.

Speaking at an unrelated ministry meeting, Kheng said that water downstream of the capital was dirty because of untreated sewage from the city.

“The water is from Phnom Penh. It looks like it has not been filtered,” he said, before questioning how the Ministry of Environment could keep the country clean if they could not clean up the purported sewage problem right in front of their offices.

The Environment Ministry did not respond to requests for comment, though San Chey, head of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said water management is the domain of municipal authorities.

The capital has no wastewater treatment plant, but municipal spokesman Met Measpheakdey pointed to canal restorations and natural reservoir filtration when confronted with the Kheng’s remarks.

Still, Chey noted, “we see most of the water flows from Phnom Penh into the river because the lakes were filled [in] and that causes a lack of reservoirs”.

“This is a big problem, not small,” Kheng said, adding that the pollution is plain to see downriver, and that “smart officials” have already taken note of the “black water” and built their homes upstream.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kem Sokha’s daughters slam ‘liar’ Sam Rainsy over ‘smears’

    The daughters of former opposition leader Kem Sokha hit out at Sam Rainsy on Tuesday, accusing the newly nominated “acting president” of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of leading a “smear campaign” against their father and “repeatedly lying to the public”. The Supreme Court-dissolved

  • US Embassy urges reconciliation

    The US has urged Cambodia to restore the independence of the media, drop charges against Kem Sokha and other political prisoners, and end the prohibition of political activity by opposition parties. However, senior government officials see the request, issued by US embassy spokesman Arend C

  • Government deports 235 Chinese scammers

    THE Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior on Thursday deported 235 Chinese nationals, 35 of whom were female, via the Phnom Penh International Airport for their part in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) online money extortion scam. The deportees were arrested on November 26 over the

  • ‘Tolerant’ PM calls for ‘unity’

    In his message on celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, known by its French acronym FUNSK, Prime Minister Hun Sen said for the sake of unity in the Kingdom, he is “tolerant” to those who “acknowledged their mistakes”, and