AWA shares urban wastewater expertise with Cambodia

The Australian Water Association in Cambodia
Sally Armstrong from the Australian Water Association, H.E. Ros Vanna, Secretary of State of Ministry of Public Works and Transport, and Amber Cernovs from the Australian Embassy at the wastewater workshop in Phnom Penh

The Australian Water Association (AWA) travelled to Phnom Penh in early December to share Australia’s urban wastewater experience with Cambodia.

AWA delivered a 2-day workshop with around 75 representatives from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) on 6 and 7 December to support the development of Cambodia’s Wastewater Policy Framework and Wastewater Strategy.

AWA is Australia’s largest network of water professionals and includes policymakers, scientists, researchers, designers and engineers. AWA’s delegation included 7 members from academia, utilities and government, with expertise in wastewater research, engineering, maintenance, and emergency operations.

Sally Armstrong, Head of International and Industry Programs at AWA said the workshop provided a unique platform to connect wastewater professionals from Australia and Cambodia.

“AWA members have extensive wastewater sector expertise and experience, and are very willing to share successes and lessons learned with MPWT peers in Cambodia,” said Ms Armstrong.

“The workshop provided the opportunity for both Australia and Cambodia to better understand each other’s current and future wastewater challenges, and to explore future collaboration priorities.” 

Following opening remarks by MPWT Secretary of State, H.E. Dr. Ros Vanna, the first day of the workshop began with presentations on Cambodia’s current wastewater management approach and vision for a national urban wastewater management system.

AWA’s expert panel then shared Australia’s wastewater management journey and practices, including planning for health and environmental outcomes, and the role of government agencies, water utilities and the public.

The second day of the workshop covered wastewater system risks and hazards, pricing models, technology options, planning for climate change impacts, and the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration.

Supported by Australia, the workshop was delivered by AWA in partnership with Partnerships for Infrastructure (P4I). This follows P4I’s development of a High-Level Funding and Cost-Recovery Framework and Strategic Roadmap with the Ministry of Economy and Finance in October 2021.

These two documents are part of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s efforts to advance the national goal of providing all citizens with access to safe drinking water, and improved sanitation and hygiene.

Cambodia is in the process of implementing significant wastewater and sanitation sector reforms to manage increases in water consumption and wastewater generation due to strong population growth and rapid urban development.

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