Two environment NGOs will start supporting the Chong Kneas community in Siem Reap province to implement a three-year programme for waste management along with a Tonle Sap River plastic harvesting project at month’s end.

The NGO2 Bambooshoot Foundation, more commonly referred to as NGO2, and its partner organisation Ocean Recovery Alliance made the announcement as the provincial authorities, civil society organisations (CSOs) and target communities prepare to jointly organise an event to celebrate the National Environmental Sanitation Day on November 23 under the theme “Our country, our duty: clean and green”.

And on November 24, there will be a joint celebration of the sanitation day in the Chong Kneas community, located in Siem Reap town’s Chong Kneas commune.

According to a letter from the provincial Department of Environment to the provincial hall on November 15, events marking the day will also be held on the Riverside near the Royal Residence.

Khin Sokunviseth, director of the provincial environment department, said his department would celebrate the day to encourage better environmental quality, urban beauty and public health.

“By inspiring the people, monks, members of the armed forces and officials at all levels, students from all villages will participate in cleaning and improving the beauty of the village and town to make the celebration go smoothly and yield tangible results,” he said.

NGO2 director Sea Sophal told The Post that the project would start its implementation at the end of this month and last for three years.

“Among the 500 people gathering for the programme, 300 are from the Chong Kneas community itself. They will ride in boats and use scythes to remove all rubbish floating on the water. The other 200 people will go to each household urging them to stop tossing rubbish into the river and teach them how to separate organic waste and plastic waste,” he said.

During this year’s rainy season, local authorities and CSOs led residents in the Chong Kneas community to clean up their environment, collecting more than 100 tonnes of rubbish from their community.

Sophal expressed his hopes that the programme’s implementation would help increase the community’s beauty and reduce the amount of plastic waste floating everywhere on the water’s surface.

“I will further encourage educating more people to be trainers with workshops and to establish a simple mechanism directly within the community itself to solve the problems they encounter,” he said.

“People living on the water act differently than those playing on the water who are too casual in their treatment of it.”