BY BUTH REAKSMEY KKONGKEA
The Project for Flood Protection and Drainage Improvement in Phnom Penh Capital City (Phase II) was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, and H.E. Mr. Masafumi KUROKI, Ambassador of Japanese to Cambodia on September 16th.
The Prime Minister said that the Flood Protection and Drainage Improvement is very important because it would help mitigating storms and water floods in the east side of middle part of Phnom Penh City where was the political, economic and national culture of Cambodia. He added that the project will also help to improve the living-conditions of Phnom Penh’s people as well as the progress and the development in Cambodia.
“I wish to appeal all Cambodian people do not throw wastewater or rubbishes into the Mekong River or pumping water in order to clean our Phnom Penh’s environment and hygiene. I would also like encourage all people to join keeping hygiene, environment and developments in our Phnom Penh capital city,” he said during the inauguration ceremony.
H.E. Kep Chuktema, Governor of Phnom Penh City Hall, said that the Japanese Grant Aid Project for Flood Protection and Drainage Improvement in Phase II is the second realization of priority projects identified in the Master Plan Study for Flood Protection and Drainage Improvement in the city after completion of phase II in 2004.
He added that the project, which costs US$ 19,022,900, was implemented and completed according with the schedule from the 17th of October 2007 to the 26th of February 2010 to mitigate storms water floods for the east side of middle part of Phnom Penh Capital City.
“With the accomplishment of this important project, I firmly hope and strongly believe that urban infrastructure damages caused by storms water floods will be reduced as well as environment and living condition of people in the city will be also improved,” he said.
H.E. Mr. Masafumi KUROKI, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Cambodia, said that the Project for Flood Protection and Drainage Improvement in Phnom Penh Capital City (Phase II) was implemented by the Grant Aid of the Government of Japan.
Phnom Penh, the Capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia, has always faced the risks of flooding in the annual rainy season and habitually suffered from inundation and poor environmental conditions caused by stagnant waste water, he said, adding that these poor conditions consequently have regularly caused serious threats to the citizen’s lives and sometime paralyzed normal urban functions, especially affecting the traffic flow.
The Ambassador continued to say that the Royal Government of Cambodia requested the Government of Japan to extend assistance for these serious problems. In response, the Government of Japan provided the Grant Aid in 2002 for implementation of the Phase I of the Project targeted at the south-western area of the Capital. In 2007, the Government of Japan further provided the Grant Aid for the Phase II of the project which included the improvement of drainage systems in the Royal Palace and the National Museum, central market area and Wat Phnom areas, the improvement of two sections of revetment along Tonle Sap River, the construction of four pumping stations and four underground reservoirs and the construction of wastewater interceptor pipes.
“With accomplishment of these two phases of the project, the flooding of Mekong River system will be significantly controlled, inundation damage will be reduced and wastewater will be diverted,” he said. “The project also improves the conditions of streets where Cambodians and foreign people can come and enjoy “river-side” tourist spots.”
According to the Japanese Embassy’s report, the Government of Japan provided financial assistance (1992-2010) amounting 182 billion 704 million Yen (approximately US$ 1,678 million under Japan’s ODA bilateral grant aid, for the peace process and the rehabilitation and development of Cambodia. Following are the main features of Japan's ODA to Cambodia including 31 billion 291 million Yen Loan (approximately US$ 289 million) (1968-2009).//