Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Yun Min has led a team of officials and cleaning crews to collect rubbish from the streets in Sihanoukville to highlight the importance of protecting the environment by keeping the streets and coastal areas tidy.

“This action will help motivate local people to cooperate with authorities to improve the cleanliness of the city because a good environment begins with each of us individually,” Min said during Saturday’s street cleaning drive.

Preah Sihanouk provincial hall spokesperson Or Saroeun echoed Min, telling The Post on Monday that it wanted the local people to help the authorities protect the environment as keeping the city clean was an important goal.

“Picking up rubbish can be an event participated in by people and tourists who come to visit Preah Sihanouk province. We will continue to clean the [city] regularly in order to make it beautiful and follow government guidelines,” he said.

‘Collecting trash has improved’

He said provincial authorities had received two beach cleaning machines from the National Committee on Coastal Area Management and Development (NCCMD), while they had also bought two road sweepers.

“Collecting trash in public areas has improved, but we cannot depend only on a private company to gather waste. We need to collaborate."

“As the provincial administration has issued guidelines, we need the waste collection company and local people to work together to collect rubbish and protect the environment,” he said.

Rorn Ra Morn, a resident of Commune 1 in Sihanoukville, said the increase in construction projects across the city was having an effect on the environment.

“Rubbish was not left uncollected for days like before because the company collected the waste very regularly. Everywhere in Sihanoukville, there is a lot of construction. The environment cannot be as clean as before,” he said.

Cheap Sotheary, the provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, told The Post that the provincial administration was trying hard to improve the environment and provide better sanitation, but rapid development was making the task more difficult.

“I can see that the issue of trash is getter better, but I hope it will not be as huge as before,” she said.

Bridge set to protect workers

She added that the local refuse collection company had just purchased new trucks and hired additional collection crews, meaning waste collection in important areas would not be as irregular as before.

Meanwhile, Preah Sihanouk governor Min said the provincial administration planned to build a pedestrian bridge crossing National Road 4 in front of the New Star Factory to allow garment workers to safely cross the road to their workplace.

Min said a study had been completed and the walkway is estimated to cost around $100,000, with construction beginning in March.

The steel bridge, he said, will be 24m in length, 3m wide and 5.2m high, meaning that container trucks can drive under it, and this will help to ease traffic congestion.