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Water Chief Envisions Clean National Supply


Ek Sonn Chan, the head of Phnom Penh’s water authority, says he wants to get clean water to Cambodians beyond the capital.

Ek Sonn Chan, who spoke to “Hello VOA” Monday, was recently honored by the Stockholm International Water Institute for his work on improving Phnom Penh’s water supply.

In 1993, Ek Sonn Chan said, only about 26,000 out of 130,000 households had clean water. That has improved to more than 90 percent of 200,000 households today.

“I believe that at the present time, such an achievement will help as an important force for development of the water supply in various provinces,” he said. “And then step by step, in rural areas, I believe there will be a water supply.”

The International Water Institute honored Ek Sonn Chan for refurbishing the entire Phnom Penh water supply system, which is fed by the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers but had languished following the fall of the country to the Khmer Rouge and subsequent years of strife.

The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority “has successfully fought corruption and shown this can be achieved in a developing country on a large-scale basis using simple but effective management techniques that are based on well-accepted business principles and strategies,” the group said. “As a self-sufficient company, operating without subsidies from the state, PPWSA today provides 24-hour service and 90 percent coverage to a city of 1.3 million and fully recovers its costs as it continues to develop both its infrastructure and management.”

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