Clean City Day set for Feb 27

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Workers hose down Monivong Blvd in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Keng Kang district last month. Heng Chivoan

The Ministry of Tourism’s National Committee for Clean City Evaluation has requested capital and provincial governors to prepare to raise public awareness to celebrate the ninth Clean City Day with the theme “New Habits for a Clean City” on February 27.

The ministry also encouraged all provincial governors to continue the “Clear out plastic bags to clean Cambodia” campaign.

In a notice dated February 1, the ministry said that in order to successfully celebrate the ninth Clean City Day with full participation from everyone, the National Committee for Clean City Evaluation requested governors to organise two programmes.

The first programme is to raise awareness of environmental sanitation and the importance of having a clean city, and the other is the clean-up programme itself.

The ministry instructed officials in charge of the programmes to use all means at their disposal to spread information about the ninth Clean City day this year and encourage public participation.

Nguon Ratanak, the provincial governor of Battambang which has won the prize of three stalks of Romduol Flower two years in a row now, told The Post that he had assigned the director of the Department of Tourism to raise awareness of the National Clean City programme this year.

He said that he regarded environmental sanitation and the clean city programme as very useful to society and appealed to all Cambodians to take care of the environment.

“The tourism ministry initiated this programme and it is very useful to our country, but participation remains limited. So, we ask that all people participate in learning about and helping to make our city clean. The benefits of a Clean City are huge and they have a big influence on the economy in areas such as attracting tourists,” he said.

He also added that Battambang residents’ awareness of placing rubbish in bins and taking care of the environment is much better than in previous years.

“Through these efforts, residents have learnt more about disposing of rubbish in an orderly manner. Previously, they had just dumped much of it wherever, ” Ratanak said.

Creal Cambodia founder Hour Chhai Ngorn lauded organisation of the Clean City Day programme but requested the ministry to consider cooperating with environmentalist youth and include their input in its policies.

“The programme to clean up the environment sponsored by the state should include the voices of environmentalist youth because their participation is important.

“Policymakers at the national level will determine the guiding principles, but local groups such as youth environmental activist organisations are the ones who carry out the real work,” he said.

“Three years ago, we educated many people carrying out this clean-up work directly. This year, we organised a programme to clean the environment gradually over a full year. It is a big project. At least 10 million people will receive information about it,” he said.

Chhai Ngorn continued that the education programme had three categories. The first is direct education about cleaning up the environment, the second is indirect education on social media through short stories and the third is education in schools.

He said that if you educate children about the environment at school, they will often go home and educate their parents in turn.

The tourism ministry instructed all governors to put up banners along the streets celebrating National Clean City Day with environmental education messages in leaflets to be handed out to the public.

Authorities must also prepare baskets, bags, dustbins, gloves and other materials for volunteers to use to help clean up the city that day.