Prime Minister Hun Sen urged Koh Kong provincial authorities to request that Thailand’s Trat provincial authorities connect them with clean water pipes, in order to temporarily supply the province’s citizens with water during the dry season.
In a meeting with more than 13,000 garment workers in the province on Wednesday morning, the prime minister said the main challenge the province’s people are currently facing is a fresh water shortage.
Citizens of the province’s capital, Khemarak Phoumin City, spend a lot on importing clean water from Thailand for daily consumption during the dry season each year, especially between mid-March and May.
Referring to the fact that a large part of the province is covered by sea water, Hun Sen said: “Water is plentiful but it is sea water, it is salty and cannot be drunk. So find a way to get water from Thailand into our country for people to consume temporarily until the rain comes.”
Cambodian coastal areas typically see rain come earlier than in other areas, but due to climate change, this year’s rain could be delayed. According to the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology’s Tuesday weather forecast, this year’s dry season will be prolonged until mid-May.
Between April and May temperatures are set to jump to 40-42 degrees, especially in the central northwest plains and northern plateau areas.
Drought caused by El Nino over recent years has led many of the world’s leaders to seek ways to help their citizens combat the phenomenon.
In Cambodia, drought has caused some areas to face water shortages for consumption and agriculture.
Hun Sen, during a graduation ceremony on Monday at the Royal University of Law and Economics, attended by more than 3,000 students, appealed to all relevant authorities to concentrate on digging wells in areas which face water shortages.
In 2016, the Kingdom faced water shortages across most of the country. Government authorities pumped and transported water to citizens as wells dried out.
“Digging wells is better than transporting water to remote areas. Although wells may have to be dug a bit deep, digging wells is a good method."
“No matter if there’s water this year or a lack of water next year, wells will still be there to be used. So, make every effort to dig a lot of wells in areas that lack water,” said the prime minister.