On 21 November 2023, the handover ceremony of the project “Improvement in WASH sector in Kampong Chhnang Province, Cambodia” took place in Kampong Chhnang Province, Cambodia. This important project, funded by the Czech Development Agency and implemented by a consortium led by the Czech NGO Diakonia, is an important landmark in the history of the Czech-Cambodian partnership in the field of water and sanitation.
The project was implemented between 2020 and 2023 representing a significant milestone in Czech-Cambodian development cooperation. Against the backdrop of the Czech Republic’s commitment to support the Millennium Development Goals, specifically access to water and sanitation, this initiative is the biggest achievement in this effort so far. It also corresponds with Cambodia’s National Development Strategy and the government’s rural development strategy.
Carefully designed to address pressing issues in the region, the project has addressed problems ranging from inadequate water resources and sanitation issues to chemical pollution and lack of awareness of the consequences of improper water management. Eight communes in two districts of Kampong Chhnang province were identified and comprehensive sanitation system was designed using locally available resources and taking into account the unique geographical and agricultural conditions of the region.
Under the leadership of the Czech Diakonia and in collaboration with local partner Life with Dignity, the consortium included the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague and Czech companies G-Servis and Ekomonitor. Their joint intervention focused on both physical infrastructure development and community engagement, with an emphasis on water management and disease prevention awareness.
In the initial stages of the project, hygiene kits, water filters were distributed and collaboration with the local private sector was established. Feasibility studies were carried out, schools and villages were linked and awareness campaigns were organised. In the following years, construction of boreholes, water testing and designing of a comprehensive water supply system were carried out.
In September 2023, the four-year project culminated with the installation of a modern drinking water treatment plant with Czech technological solutions by the Czech company Ekomonitor. This state-of-the-art facility, with deep boreholes, a water tank and an automatic pressure station, will provide clean drinking water for more than 1,500 inhabitants, and more are already signing up to be connected. The project has not only commissioned cutting-edge technology, representatives of the local community have received comprehensive training to ensure that they can manage the treatment plant independently and contribute to a better quality of life for local residents for generations.