The Government of India has provided a grant assistance for an Innovative Solar e-Toilet Project in Koh Rong, Preah Sihanouk province.
A Memorandum of Understanding on the grant assistance was signed here on Wednesday by H.E. Vann Monyneath, Director-General, General Directorate of Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Environment, and H.E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Ambassador of India to Cambodia, in the presence of H.E. Tin Ponlok, Secretary of State, Ministry of Environment, according to a press release from the Embassy of India.
Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Ambassador of India, expressed pleasure on signing the MoU during the celebrations of 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Cambodia. She said that the project will positively contribute towards enhancing tourism in Koh Rong, which is a priority area for the Royal Government. The ambassador conveyed her best wishes for speedy implementation of the project and hoped that with the success in Koh Rong, the project could be replicated in other provinces of Cambodia.
H.E. Tin Ponlok, Secretary of State, in his address, appreciated the Government of India for taking the initiative to undertake the project of e-toilets in Cambodia. The Secretary of State mentioned that climate action is a priority for the Royal Government as it has tremendous implications for the people and economy of Cambodia. He added that Cambodia has become the first developing country to set a goal for carbon neutrality by 2050. H.E. Tin Ponlok appreciated India for raising the prescriptive of the Global South on key issues such as climate action which are important for developing countries.
The Government of India has been extending grant assistance for various socio-economic development projects in Cambodia. Under the Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) scheme of Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, India has been implementing 10 projects every year in Cambodia by providing funds of up to US$50,000 per project.
The project in Koh Rong is also being implemented under the QIP scheme of Mekong-Ganga Cooperation. The Innovative solar e-toilet project envisages building of automated self-cleaning mechanisms like pre-flush, post-flush, disinfection systems and is one of its kind to be introduced in Cambodia. These types of e-toilets are successfully functioning in India, and with its success in Koh Rong, the project can act as a role model for replication in other provinces of Cambodia.
Since the beginning in 2015-16, India has approved 48 QIPs in the fields of IT, agriculture, health, sanitation, women’s empowerment, child welfare, rural development, social infrastructure (including capacity building), environment, etc. Out of 48 projects, 31 projects have already been completed, and the remaining 17 are at various stages of execution. These projects have received a good response and created a distinct and visible impact not only among the beneficiaries but also in the larger community.