Australia and Cambodia have launched a utility program aimed at improving access to clean water for up to one million people in this Southeast Asian country, which suffered severe shortages earlier this year.
"This is part of our commitment to supporting Cambodia to develop the quality infrastructure and services it needs to transition to a more resilient, inclusive and prosperous country," Australian ambassador Angela Corcoran said in a statement on Tuesday.
Under the program, Melbourne-based South East Water will enter a two-year knowledge sharing program with three private Cambodian water companies and provide access to high quality technology and management practices.
Cambodians living in Phnom Penh had enjoyed safe tap water after programs aided by Singapore were initiated in the early 1990s.
But earlier this year, Cambodians suffered chronic water shortages in Phnom Penh and provincial towns where rapid urbanisation and massive infrastructure projects have exacted a toll on supplies not seen since the 30-year civil war ended 20 years ago.
Waterborne diseases in Southeast Asia are a major health concern.
Hor Khykeng, Executive Director of the Cambodian Water Supply Association, welcomed the announcement saying he was excited to work with the Australian water sector to improve water supply service delivery across Cambodia.
Australian Associated Press