The European Investment Bank secured a EUR 12.7 million grant from the European Union for the construction of the Bakheng Water Treatment Plant and 500km of the water distribution network in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.
The infrastructure will bring safe, drinking water and improve quality of living for 700,000 people from some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city. It is a long term investment in the country`s resilience to a pandemic such as Covid-19 as it provides steady access to clean drinking water, critical for effective crisis mitigation.
The EU grant will expand the water distribution network to the poorest areas of the city. It complements an earlier EUR 185 million investment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). Blending of the EIB, the AFD and the EU financing will provide treated potable water to the fast-expanding Phnom Penh, where the demand for piped water is expected to nearly double from current needs by 2030.
Around 86,000 households, in some of the poorest neighbourhoods in Phnom Pen, will gain access to city`s piped water for the first time ever and help reduce certain types of diseases by as much as 26%.
The project will have a positive economic effect on the poorest households as it will reduce daily expenditure for bottled drinking water. Today, close to 70% of the Cambodians do not have access to piped water supply, including 28 % of people living in Phnom Pehn.
Andrew McDowell, the Vice President of the EIB said: “The EIB welcomes the EU grant for the Bakheng Water Supply project as it will significantly improve the quality of living for thousands of people in the city. This project testifies the power of European cooperation and solidarity with Cambodia and its people.”
“Our support and cooperation with the Royal Government of Cambodia are empowering us to look forward to further partnership and EIB support in the country to contribute to the sustainable development of Cambodia.”
H.E. Hem Vanndy, Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Royal Government of Cambodia said: “The Royal Government of Cambodia welcomes the contribution from our European partners as it will have a major impact on the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Cambodians.
“The projects we implement with the EU and the EIB like Bakheng Water and SAAMBAT are important for Cambodia, as they support our sustainable development and growth. We look forward to expanding this cooperation for the benefit of the people of Cambodia and its economy.”
Ambassador Carmen Moreno, the European Union`s Ambassador to Cambodia said: “Water is the main source of life and access to water is a basic human right; living without safe water can cause illness and poverty and it is also a threat to public health, particularly during the current pandemic.”
“Bakheng is the largest European investment project in Cambodia co-financed by several European and Cambodian partners, in which the EU grant will help guarantee the right of Phnom Penh Poorest Communities to have access to safe and affordable water. This massive project is expected to have a major impact in terms of people getting access to clean water but also it will create jobs, which is also very important during this crisis! I am very proud that the European partners will make this project possible, at a time when it is most needed!” (devdiscourse)