Feature: Cambodia starts to construct reservoir with Chinese assistance

(Xinhua) 10:33, February 02, 2024

This photo taken on Feb. 1, 2024 shows the construction site of the Dang Kambet reservoir in Kampong Thom province, Cambodia. (Photo by Liao Hongqing/Xinhua)

KAMPONG THOM, Cambodia, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Thursday broke ground for the construction of the Dang Kambet reservoir here in the country's central part, with the concessional financing from the Export-Import Bank of China (China EximBank).

Cambodian Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology Thor Chetha said the Dang Kambet Reservoir Development Project would significantly improve the well-being and livelihoods of local people.

"This project will not only play an important role in supplying waters for agricultural irrigation and daily consumption, but also help reduce flooding in the rainy season," he said in a speech at the project site in Sandan district, about 140 km northeast of Kampong Thom provincial town.

"Some 25,000 families or 85,300 local people in six districts are expected to benefit from this Dang Kambet reservoir when the construction is completed," he added.

The reservoir would be able to irrigate 131,133 hectares of farmland in the rainy season and 45,360 hectares in the dry season, Chetha said, adding that it would help increase rice paddy output from four tonnes to five tonnes per hectare.

"I would like to express my profound gratitude to the Chinese government for having always provided a great deal of assistance to Cambodia for development in all fields, including the water resources sector," he said.

Kampong Thom Provincial Governor Nguon Ratanak said the reservoir project is a major achievement in the province and that it will provide a big boost to the development of agriculture when the construction is completed.

Zhong Jie, counselor of the Chinese Embassy to Cambodia, said the Dang Kambet Reservoir Development Project will further enhance the utilization of water resources and irrigation efficiency in the Stung Sen River basin.

"It will also reduce losses from floods, increase grain production, boost farmers' incomes, drive socio-economic development in the region, and bring tangible benefits to the local people," she said.

According to Zhong, China has so far supported Cambodia in the development of more than 10 major irrigation projects.

"Those projects have covered the irrigation areas of nearly 420,000 hectares and benefited millions of local people," she said.

Hem Norn, a 46-year-old farmer in Sandan district, said the reservoir is very important for local people because it will provide water for irrigating rice paddy in the dry season.

"Currently, I am a rice paddy grower in the dry season, and it is very difficult to get water for irrigation in the season," he told Xinhua. "It is very valuable for locals because it will provide us enough water for consumption."

Expressing sincere thanks to China for funding the project, Hem Chanthou, another farmer in the district, said she was glad to see the construction of the reservoir, and that the project would offer tremendous benefits to local people.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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