As the annual Water Festival wrapped up, tens of thousands of Cambodians headed back to their everyday lives leaving behind mountains of waste and refuse for workers to clean up.
And while Phnom Penh governor Chea Sophara assured that garbage was being thrown away properly, a number of the 250 donated garbage cans were seen being used as stools to watch the boat races instead.
Chea Sophara admitted that human waste posed a particular problem with not enough toilets to accommodate festivalgoers.
Garbage company PSBK president Sieng Pech said roughly 200 trash collectors worked the festival. “The garbage has increased due to the packed crowd,” she said, noting it could take up to a week to restore the riverfront and parks to their original condition.
Throughout the festival, vendors were asked to use plastic bags for their garbage, but open trash was seen strewn all over the streets of central Phnom Penh. When asked why he did not use a garbage can, one 25-year-old reveler named Norn said there was not one in sight.
tossed his leftover sugar cane