The heavily polluted Siem Reap River is improving thanks to the efforts of the Cambodian Education and Waste Management Organisation (Comped), according to an evaluation by local government officials.
Provincial deputy governor Ngan Phirun told The Post that Comped collected rubbish and plastic waste along the river and from it for three months, resulting in the water quality being much better.
“We are delighted and we admire Comped for cleaning our river,” he said.
He said the Siem Reap administration strongly supports Comped’s mission and is committed to cooperating with the organisation on other environmental cleanups in the future.
Comped director Sam Phalla told The Post that the Siem Reap River is better, but it will be dirty again if there is no participation from people to clean the environment along it. Participation from those with houses along the river, he said, is particularly important.
“The clean-up of this river has not ended. It must be done regularly to eliminate rubbish and waste, including plastics. If not, water in the river will be polluted. It affects the beauty of the environment and the wellbeing of citizens,” he said.
Some issues the Comped team faced while cleaning the river was the low water level making it difficult to use a boat to collect rubbish, said Phalla.
Comped worked in collaboration with One Earth One Ocean to accomplish the mission.
Phalla said plans are afoot to create a waste recycling centre and dumpsite in the province to reduce solid waste.
Before starting its task, Comped had successfully cleaned the Stung Sangke River in Battambang. It collected solid waste and plastics from the river and space along it.
The waste collected was used to make compost to support farmers in planting organic crops.