New Water Treatment Plant Opens in Capital

A new water treatment plant in Russei Keo district officially opened on Wednesday. The plant will provide more than 65,000 cubic meters of water per day to Phnom Penh’s citizens, officials said.

The Chroy Changva water treatment plant, built with $9.9 million from the World Bank and an additional $933,021 from the Phnom Penh Water Supply Auth­ority, will help at least 4,000 of the city’s residents living in squat­ter villagers receive water, officials said.

“Water can restore people’s health and economic productivity, and we can reduce poverty through supporting a clean water supply to all people,” said Prime Minister Hun Sen, who inaugurated the plant.

The prime minister said that the capacity of the plant increased from 12,000 cubic meters per day to 65,000 cubic meters per day, and that 40 percent of people living on the outskirts of the city must buy water or use unclean water.

Phnom Penh Municipal Gover­nor Chea Sophara, who also attended Wednesday’s ceremony, said the urban poor will benefit greatly from the new plant.

“Through this direct water service, poor urban residents can save an average of 30,000 riel [$7.50] per family per year,” Chea Sophara said. “Housewives and children will also save time be­cause they won’t need to transport water over long distances.”

The Chroy Changva water plant is part of a larger water rehabilitation program in Phnom Penh that is aimed at helping the city’s poorest populations receive fresh water for cleaning. By Sept­ember 2003, the city is also ex­pected to complete construction on a $21 million Phoeum Prek water plant, which will bring at least 150,000 cubic meters of water to various areas in the city.

“The supply of cheaper and clean water to the poor communities will not only improve their health and living conditions, but will also reduce the money and time spent collecting water for daily use,” said Ek Sonn Chans, general director of Phnom Penh’s water supply authority.

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