The Ministry of Rural Development plans to build concrete bridges and more than 400km of rural roads in seven provinces: Tbong Khmum, Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Siem Reap, Pursat, Kampong Speu and Kampong Chhnang.
Ministry spokesperson Chreay Pom said on May 26 that the projects will be implemented soon after the World Bank approves $169 million in financing.
He added that these roads would improve the regions’ resilience to natural disasters and climate change, which had increased the amount of flooding in recent years.
“In areas which are not prone to flooding, we will build these roads with two layers of asphalt. In flood-prone places, we will use concrete,” he said.
In a May 25 press release, the World Bank said the project will benefit approximately 5.5 million people in the seven provinces, and anyone who uses those roads.
It said the project will also train officials – mostly at the rural development ministry – in disaster risk management, climate change adaptation and post-disaster needs assessment.
Pom also said that rural roads are critical to the day-to-day life of rural communities, and damage to key road segments can cripple the livelihood of rural households and curtail access to basic services such as markets, schools, and hospitals. Flooding in 2020 underscored Cambodia’s need for continued investment in disaster risk management and the vulnerability of infrastructure.