The European Investment Bank secured a EUR 12.7 million grant from the European Union for the construction of the Bakheng Water Treatment Plant and 500km of the water distribution network in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. The infrastructure will bring safe, drinking water and improve quality of living for 700,000 people from some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city. It is a long term investment in the country`s resilience to a pandemic such as Covid-19 as it provides steady access to clean drinking water, critical for effective crisis mitigation.
The EU grant will expand the water distribution network to the poorest areas of the city. It complements an earlier EUR 185 million investment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). Blending of the EIB, the AFD and the EU financing will provide treated potable water to the fast-expanding Phnom Penh, where the demand for piped water is expected to nearly double from current needs by 2030.
Around 86,000 households, in some of the poorest neighbourhoods in Phnom Pen, will gain access to city`s piped water for the first time ever and help reduce certain types of diseases by as much as 26%. The project will have a positive economic effect on the poorest households as it will reduce daily expenditure for bottled drinking water. Today, close to 70% of the Cambodians do not have access to piped water supply, including 28 % of people living in Phnom Pehn.