A new program is being put into place in Phnom Penh aimed at enabling nongovernmental organizations to help combat the Cambodian capital’s growing problems stemming from traffic and litter.
Not long ago, the city was one of Southeast Asia’s few capitals with wide, open boulevards not overly crowded with cars and litter, but that is changing. Cambodia’s economy has been growing at more than 6% a year and with that has come more business, more people, and more problems. That is why traffic jams and waste collection were the top complaints raised by Cambodians this past week, when the Phnom Penh Municipal Council held a public forum to listen to constituents.
Politics in the former French colony usually get attention when an official is accused of stealing an election, or when a political opponent is thrown in jail. However these issues feel far away for many Cambodians, who just want their local politicians to make sure that the water runs when they turn on the tap, or that the trash is picked up every week.