Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, I have a great pleasure to participate in this ceremony to officially inaugurate the various achievements constructed under the Phnom Penh Flood Prevention and Salvage System Restoration project, which have been funded by a Japanese grant. Those significant achievements include Beng Tum Pun’s pumping station, Steng Mean Chey Main Canal and Beung Salang Canal and many other public constructions. All these testify our close and long-lasting relationship between Cambodia and Japan.
Though the achievements are the first project for Phnom Penh under the Japanese Government’s Grant on Flood Prevention and Salvage System Restoration, I believe that they will help reduce impacts on the Southwest area of Phnom Penh caused by heavy rain flooding and on the Southern part threatened by Mekong river flooding.
Though the capacity to prevent rain-flooding cannot meet 100% needs of people, the Royal Government of Cambodia has tried its best with the support generated from partner countries. We carry on requesting Japanese Government Grant to proceed phase 2 of the project, in which rain-flooding problem mostly can be prevented in Phnom Penh.
In retrospect, Japanese Government provided grant to Phnom Penh Municipality to repair and expand capacity of Clean Water Plant in Prek Village, and water distribution network in several areas of the city. I strongly hope that both projects have contributed to poverty reduction of the city dwellers both in town and outskirt that is consistent with the Government’s polices and the Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to highlight that the outputs of Flood Prevention and Salvage System Restoration project possible now are due to the high responsibility taken by all level of the municipality’s and government’s officials, engineers, technicians of Phnom Penh Public Works and Transportation Office, and other concerned institutions who worked their best and well cooperated with partner countries and international institutions. Moreover, the residents disregarded the impacts of the project on their houses and lands, which presents a big contribution promoting municipality development and beautification.
The government’s strategy in water policy is to expand irrigated rice fields to 20-24% during 5 years, from 2002 to 2007, to strengthen capability and local self reliance by establishing water usage community. In this context, we pay attention on creating watery information system management on all river basins to provide the sustainable and believable basic information to support preparing strategic planning and development water resources such as irrigation system, hydro-electricity, water supply, flood prevention and environment.
Last several years, droughts and floods are the major natural disaster in Cambodia brought casualties to human, animal, tree and socio-economic infrastructure because of lacking efficiency in flood prevention and mean to control human movement. Therefore, the impact of the flood became immense. In addition, water current blocking in river and canal is the reason to explain several severe Mekong basic floods during decade. For instead, Cambodia lost a lot of life, properties, vegetations and public infrastructure and increased government’s burden due to the recent floods.
Take this opportunity, I would like to praise and highly appreciate the officials of national, provincial, district and commune, Disaster Management Committee, Local Authority, Governmental Ministry and Institution, Cambodia Red Cross, Royal Cambodia Arms forces, Military Polices, and National Polices who worked to rescue draught and flood victims by preparing foods, fuel, mobile accommodation and boat at flooded place. By doing so, we can narrow the impact on human life, vegetation, rice fields and animal and immediately rescue the drought and flood victims.
I would like to express my gratitude to donor countries, UN agencies, international organizations, international financial institutes, non-governmental organizations, national and international charity and many other people who contribute the resources to assist flood and drought victims.
The droughts and floods subsequently occurred in Cambodia hinder government’s effort to develop economic and social welfare. We have to divert our tiny resources from development programs to help those draught and flood victims. However, we are proud of the reduction of causalities due to those disasters and culture of helping each other during the hard time.
Recently, many countries had severely suffered by draughts due to global climate change; hence, we have to be paid attention and highly alert on protecting properties and lives of our people in response to any disaster, especially for Phnom Penh city which is located in a lower land and on the bank of Chaktomuk River. The municipality has to put more efforts and attention on maintaining dams, canals, water reservoir and pumping stations regularly to prevent flooding of the city.
Take this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to Asian Development Bank (ADB) and OPEC Fund that implemented their projects partially to help reduce Phnom Penh’s flooding. Also, I would like to appeal all level of municipality officers, government officials, technicians of Phnom Penh public works and transportation office, relevance institutions, all sort and level of authorities, and people who reside along the creeks, to continue fully cooperating for development and restoration the beauty of Phnom Penh.
On behalf of Cambodian people and myself, I would like to express our deep gratitude to Japanese people and Japanese government for the support of Cambodia development, especially in infrastructures development and restoration, in the past, at present and in the future.
Finally, I would like to wish you all, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the five gems of Buddhist blessing. May I declare the Opening of all the achievements of the Phnom Penh Flood Prevention and Salvage System Restoration Project from now on.