New Research Paves the Way for Access to Piped Water in Cambodia

Access to clean and piped water is a crucial component of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6, which aims to provide safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030. However, up to one in four people globally lack access to safe drinking water. Cambodia has seen strong private sector participation in the provision of clean piped water, but only 47% of villages and 53% of households have access to clean, piped-treated water. A report by the Australian Government’s Investing in Infrastructure (3i) program in collaboration with the Cambodia Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MISTI) assesses the potential for expanding access to piped water in Cambodia, identifies investment costs, and suggests policies and mechanisms facilitate infrastructure investment. An investment of $150.20 million is needed to provide clean piped water to all of Cambodia’s uncovered areas, with a grant subsidy of $48.80 million to leverage private water investment and make it viable for entrepreneurs to extend their infrastructure to the more remote areas that currently lack safe water. The report suggests using Viability Gap Financing, an approach that 3i has used successfully, to co-invest with private water operators to expand their water treatment infrastructure to areas now lacking access. The Cambodian & Australian Governments recently launched a five-year phase two of the project intended to help achieve the Cambodian governments’ goal of providing clean water to all Cambodians by 2030.

Author: Brad Michaels

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