The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $180 million loan to help improve infrastructure in three Cambodian cities and boost economic competitiveness.
It says the Livable Cities Investment Project will help more than 140,000 residents in Bavet, Kampot and Poipet.
The loan will fund improved waste management services and pay for better flood-prevention infrastructure.
“More Cambodians are moving to secondary cities, but limited access to urban infrastructure and services, as well as environmental degradation, has worsened living conditions and hurt urban economic growth,” said ADB Urban Development Specialist Wei Kim Swain.
“The project will help the government upgrade sanitation and waste management and raise living standards, especially among low-income households vulnerable to the health, economic, and environmental effects of poor sanitation. It will also help the municipalities attract private sector investment and create jobs,” Swain said.
The Kingdom’s growing urban population is putting increasing strain on infrastructure.
The ADB says untreated sewage is commonly pumped straight into sewers, road drains and canals. It says a lot of solid waste is either uncollected, dumped into canals or burned.
The government is committed to tackling the issue through its National Strategic Development Plan, 2019–2023, which prioritizes infrastructure investment. It has also pledged to provide safe water in all cities by 2025.
In Bavet and Poipet, the ADB aims to support the rehabilitation of canals and the construction of a wastewater treatment plant, sewerage network, new stormwater drains, and landfills.
In Kampot the project will expand the sewerage network and encourage the local government to become a self-sufficient service provider.
The ADB project will be supported by a $2 million technical assistance grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. The ADB will work with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction to help coordinate the necessary regulations and policy reforms.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.