Officials at the Water Festival in Cambodia have observed a significant improvement in waste disposal during the event, thanks to the cooperation of festivalgoers. With over one million visitors attending each day, the placement of more than one thousand trash bins along the riverside played a crucial role in encouraging proper waste management. This positive trend reflects an increasing awareness among the public about the importance of caring for the environment.
Chheng Kim Sun, the secretary of state at the Ministry of Environment, expressed satisfaction with the improved waste disposal methods employed by festival attendees. This year’s festival goers have shown better understanding and concern for environmental issues compared to previous events. In an interview with National Television of Cambodia (TVK) on November 27, Kim Sun highlighted the ministry’s collaboration with volunteer youths and NGOs in promoting correct waste disposal practices during the festival.
Educational events organized by the ministry at various locations engaged the participation of more than 1,500 youths. Alongside these initiatives, the placement of over 1,000 bins throughout the festival area facilitated effective waste collection.
Kim Sun noted a significant decrease in waste on the second day of the festival compared to past years when large amounts of plastic waste and rubbish filled the streets. This positive change can be attributed to the increased understanding and implementation of waste management practices by the public. Kim Sun acknowledged the impact of hosting the Southeast Asian Games in May, where people developed a heightened awareness of waste management, resulting in a cleaner environment. Rather than carelessly discarding rubbish on the streets, festivalgoers are now conscientiously using the available bins.
The success of the recently launched “Today I will not use plastic” campaign by the Ministry of Environment contributed to this positive change. The campaign, also promoted during the Water Festival, emphasized the significance of reducing plastic waste. While acknowledging the progress made, Kim Sun urged the public to continue prioritizing and maintaining a clean environment, as it reflects the Kingdom’s reputation.
The remarkable improvement in waste management during the Water Festival is a testament to the combined efforts of the government, volunteer youths, NGOs, and the public. It signifies a growing environmental consciousness and highlights Cambodia’s commitment to sustainability. However, it is crucial to sustain and expand this positive trend beyond the festival by continually educating the public on responsible waste disposal practices. By doing so, Cambodia can reaffirm its reputation as a nation that prioritizes environmental care and serves as an inspiration to others. The Water Festival’s success in waste management showcases the potential for a greener future in Cambodia.
Source: PhnomPenh Post