The Ministry of Tourism and Let’s Do It World on Thursday announced a campaign to clear rubbish from Cambodian riverbanks.

Clean City Department director Huot Rithy called on citizens to join the campaign, which will begin on Friday in front of the Royal Palace. He said it was important to have clean rivers, particularly as the country prepares to hold the sixth edition of the River Festival in Battambang.

Battambang and Siem Reap authorities will begin river cleaning campaigns on Friday.

In a letter, the ministry asked Phnom Penh City Hall and provincial authorities to join the initiative.

“This is an important campaign for districts, cities and provinces along rivers. They must all join this effort to combat rubbish and littering,” he said, adding that the Phnom Penh campaign will be joined by up to 1,500 people from Chbar Ampov, Russey Keo and Chroy Changvar districts.

Ministry of Tourism undersecretary of state Top Sopheak said the Tonle Sap River will be targeted on Friday with the support of Let’s Do It World and River Clean Up Belgium.

“Please join the government’s efforts to clean the riverbank,” he said, adding that over 500,000 people were expected to participate in the 6th River Festival.

Let’s Do It World country leader Sovann Nou said rivers are essential to people’s lives in the Kingdom. He said the campaign aims to spread awareness about littering and its impact on the environment.

Nou asked the private sector to join the initiative and urged the government to strengthen waste management in the country. “Those who litter must be fined,” he said.