The coastal city of Kep had its roads and miles of beaches cleared of plastic waste and garbage on Saturday as part of a health and hygiene drive promoted by the Tennis Federation of Cambodia and enthusiastically carried out by the Miss Japan Volunteer Association (MJVA), with the help of students and local community members.
Hisae Arai, one of the leading members of the MJVA and also the TFC’s Global Goodwill Ambassador, led the nearly 1,000-strong taskforce with her sister Kiko, the 2012 Miss Japan beauty pageant winner.
The project, named Kep Kep Clean, was supported by Kep Provincial Authority, Rubbish collection company GAEA and the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan.
Commerce Minister and TFC President Cham Prasidh, who spends a lot of his spare time in his Kep home, played an active role in carrying out this project. Former Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Katsuhiro Shinohara was one of the special invitees along with the Governor of Kep province, Ken Satha.
TFC Secretary General Tep Rithivit played a major part in the campaign by mobilising active participation in the program of scores of tennis playing kids from several orphanages and schools in Kep. The areas covered in the near four-hour drive included the Crab Market, Kep Market, Kep beach and the road leading to it, as well as roads connecting these strategic locations right up to the City Hall.
The MJVA donated 50 garbage bins for community use in the entire city. A garbage bin will be placed in each one of the 31 schools in Kep along with a huge and informative awareness board. The other 19 bins have been spread across different locations.
“I believe that ‘Kep Kep Clean!’ has delivered many benefits for the people,” Hisae Arai told the Post before listing three major positives from the campaign.
“First, keeping rubbish in the bin improves the health of the environment and the health of residents too. We can prevent the spread of diseases. Second, a clean city will be more enjoyable for people. Third, when the city is beautiful, it will attract more tourists. A boost to tourism will help the economy of Kep.”
Meanwhile, the municipality bestowed on both Hisae and her younger sister Kiko the rare honour of naming them as Goodwill Ambassadors of Kep.
“We hope we can contribute to enhance Kep’s profile throughout Cambodia and the world,” Kiko Arai told the Post.