The former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Phnom Malai is now linked to Sisophon and the rest of Cambodia, thanks to the completion of a major road project in the northwest province of Banteay Meanchey.
Government officials and aid agencies are to officially open the Phnom Malai Road this morning. The 45 km road, also known as Route 502, connects the formerly isolated Phnom Malai with heavily traveled Route 5, which leads to Sisophon and Battambang.
The UN Development Program, Carere and the Cambodian Mine Action Center rebuilt, repaired and demined a 19 km stretch of the road. CMAC removed a total of 552 anti-personnel land mines.
The UNDP estimates about 70,000 people in isolated communities will benefit from the new road. The $370,000 project began in March 1997, with $230,000 from the European Union.