PM Hun Sen Reaffirms Cambodia’s Policy on Water

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Phnom Penh, October 15, 2019 –Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, has reaffirmed the Royal Government of Cambodia’s policy on water at the 3rd Budapest Water Summit in Hungary.

Addressing to the summit’s opening ceremony on Oct. 15, Samdech Techo Hun Sen said Cambodia considers water as “white gold”, which is a strategic driver for sustainable economic development.

Cambodia is abundant in freshwater resources, originating from the Mekong River, canals and streams around the Tonle Sap Lake, tributaries as well as other river basins, and potentially underground water, he continued.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen underlined that water is an indispensable source of support for citizens’ livelihoods, agriculture, fisheries, biodiversity, navigation, hydropower, ecotourism, culture, education and many other fields in not only the past, but also the present and the future. The availability of water in each country depends on geographical and climatic conditions that change seasonally and annually. At the same time, the management of local reservoirs, the construction of water infrastructure and efficient water management are also essential.

Samdech Techo Prime Minister also took the opportunity to shares some experiences of Cambodia over the water management and Cambodia’s clear policy on water. “I would like to inform the summit that Cambodia is firmly committed in the protection and prevention of water crises through the implementation of strategic plans and actions,” he said.

According to the Premier, those strategic plans and actions are highlighted as follows:

First, continue strengthening effective enforcement of laws, regulations, policies, and master plan on water resources management.

Second, establish and strengthen mechanism on water resources management along rivers, streams and basins at both national and sub-national levels, by formulating and implementing management plans on water resources and river basins; managing water resources for all relevant sectors in a balance and equitable manner; developing map on floods and underground water, constructing reservoirs, dam and water discharging system; and gradually implementing comprehensive modernisation.

Third, build technical foundation, human resource and data management centre to collect data on both water and climate for analysing, commercialising, and disseminating for national and international relevant sectors, specifically for the development and management of water resources and the evaluation of water resource potential and demand in both quality and quantity in response to the development.

Fourth, promote and encourage private sectors to engage in water resources development as well as increase national budget and mobilise aids from international financial institutions and partner countries aiming to develop water resources sector, to ensure an effective and sustainable water supply in all relevant sectors.

Cambodia recognises and attaches high priority to the management of water, while confronting with various challenges including population growth, rapid development, and rising demand on water, energy, and food security, said Samdech Techo Hun Sen, adding, “Furthermore, the impact of climate change is getting more severe year-after- year. This trend will further threaten the water resource system in terms of ensuring sustainability and benefits for the younger generations. In this regard, the Royal Government of Cambodia will enhance active cooperation regionally and globally in new and existing mechanisms and initiatives in the spirit of joint effort and partnership, in order to address the transboundary water issues at both regional and international level, for our common interests in the present and in the future.”

By Khan Sophirom