Water treatment facility in Cambodia. KT/Chor Sokunthea
The Cambodian government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have signed a grant agreement to expand the water supply system in Takhmao City, at a total cost of $32 million.
The agreement was signed on Monday by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, Aun Pornmoniroth, and Chief Representative of JICA Cambodia, Sugano Yuichi.
The project aims to improve the access to safe water in Takhmao city through the construction of a new water supply facility that has a treatment capacity of 30,000 cubic metres per day and is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
The water treatment machines will draw unfiltered water from the local river and process it through the SCADA system (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) that will monitor the water – JICA states this system is “crucial” to ensure clean water is supplied to Takhmao City.
The project will contribute not only to improving water supply services in Takhmao City and the surrounding areas but also to reduce the competing demand for water supply in Phnom Penh.
With construction of the project expected to be completed in 2023. “As one of the largest development partners in the water supply sector, JICA has always taken a holistic approach to support in developing the sector with long term partnership commitment of Cambodia government,” said JICA Cambodia.
“This project will significantly contribute to the Cambodian governments, National Strategic Development Plan water supply service target of 100 percent in urban areas by 2025.” The project marks the 12th grant project that has been funded by the Japanese aid organisation in Cambodia’s water supply sector and the 6th to the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) since 1993.
However, according to Sim Sitha, director-general of the PPWSA, told Khmer Times that this water treatment centre is just the start as demand continues to outstrip supply. With the director-general stating that there will need to be much more clean water development to ensure that residents in surrounding areas face another three years of a shortage to clean water as demand grows while production capacity is limited.
“The trend of water shortage in some districts of Phnom Penh and Kandal province has occurred from 2018 to 2021,” Sitha said. With production capacity at around 600,000 cubic meters per day, while the actual demand is around 700,000 cubic meters a day.
In 2021, the production capacity will remain at about 600,000 cubic meters per day but the demand will keep increasing year-on-year. With the number of actual water users in the zone increasing from 390,067 in 2019, up to 410,067 this year and is estimated to be 430,067 in 2021, 450,067 in 2022 and 470,067 in 2023.
Although the water authority is expanding treatment plants year-on-year it is still not going to meet demand, Sitha added./ Sok Chan / Khmer Times
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