The Minister of Water Resource and Meteorology announced yesterday that the Japanese government’s international aid agency will provide his ministry with $47 million in loans for an agriculture development project near the Tonle Sap lake.
During a donation ceremony for 114 Japanese-funded agricultural machines held at the ministry, Minister Lim Kean Hor told the 400 water resource officials in attendance that the Japanese government will sign the loan agreement on Monday.
“The Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology will receive [the $47 million] loan from Japan for the maintenance and improvement project in the western provinces,” Mr Kean Hor announced.
Chan Youttha, chief of Cabinet, said the loan is part of a $54 million plan for six irrigation improvement projects in three western provinces. The project will build and upgrade the canals, dikes and water locks in Kompong Chhnang, Pursat and Battambang provinces and is scheduled to start later this year. It is expected to be completed in 2017.
“This is the soft loan at $0.01 interest rate,” he added. “It is going to be paid back in 40 years.”
The Ministry on Thursday also received 114 pieces of heavy machinery worth $11 million through grant aid from Japan for a program aimed at improving the ability of the government to cope with natural disasters caused by climate change. The equipment included 40 dump trucks, 20 excavators, 15 pick-up trucks, nine bulldozers, nine vibrating rollers, five motor graders, five water tank trucks, five truck-headed trailers, five wheel loaders and one mobile workshop truck.
Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Kuroki Masafumi said in his remarks that the donated equipment will help to improve the livelihoods of Cambodian people and help safeguard their farmland.
“Thirty-five percent of them are living in poverty. I strongly hope that this project will help these people’s lives, their homes and farmlands,” he said.