Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the capital Phnom Penh is currently facing two main issues, including a lack of parking space and waste management, as 3,000 tonnes of waste is being produced on a daily basis.
The statement was made in the meeting on 4 July with more than 1,200 Cambodians living in Switzerland.
Phnom Penh is expanding in double size from 300 square kilometers to more than 600 square kilometers. Prime Minister ordered the minister of land management, urban planning and construction Chea Sophara, and Phnom Penh governor Khoung Sreng, to study parking space in Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh is also facing huge challenges in waste management due to population growth, increasing income and consumption levels, expanding urbanization and inadequate waste management including lack of proper waste collection and treatment facilities, technical staff as well as unclear responsibilities among staff members, according to a 2018 report, prepared by GES Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies (CCET) of Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).
The same year report released by Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment said that the amount of garbage produced in the country has surged at a rate of about 10% each year, all caused by population growth, changes in lifestyle and packaging, and the lack of understanding on how to sort waste.
It added about 1.5 million tonnes of waste or 41 percent of the total annual waste collected annually were sent to dumpsites. About 400,000 tonnes or about 11 percent, were recycled. The remaining 48% was burned or thrown away into bodies of water.
We all want to live healthier, do we not? Whether one is in the capital Phnom Penh or enriched history site like Siem Reap or coastal zone like Sihanoukville, if one Cambodian starts managing his waste, it will surely create a domino effect. Living clean and green starts with the simplest act – like that pieces of paper, or plastic bags, or water bottles you are using right now, you can still re-use, reduce, or recycle it in so many ways.