A team from the Japan International Cooperation Agency will begin studying the Stung Meanchey dump as part of a 5-year waste management plan agreed on by the agency and Phnom Penh government officials Thursday.
“This is a much-needed agreement for Phnom Penh,” Chea Sophara said. “We cannot solve this problem alone.”
The project is expected to begin early next year and is expected to take up to a year and a half, at a cost of around $1 million, JICA representative Juro Chikaraishi said after a meeting with city officials. The team will present the results of its study to Phnom Penh officials, along with a way to ease the burden on the city’s main dump.
“We hope to formulate a master plan to manage the waste and solve the problem,” said JICA team leader Senichi Kimuras.
The city’s waste problem, said Chea Sophara, can be traced back decades to the Khmer Rouge’s evacuation of Phnom Penh and the regime’s leveling of modern society.
After the Khmer Rouge’s ouster in 1979, Cambodians began to fill the city, but had little or no experience with waste management. Even as recently as the last few years, city canals were choked with garbage, and some public parks were dumping grounds for household trash.
“It is very important to change people’s living standards in the city,” said Chea Sophara. “I am very anxious to see the results of the project.”
Chea Sophara added that the city wants to move some of the waste to another site near the Cheung Ek killing fields, but that plan is still under consideration.
, as no investor has signed on to the project yet.