Cleanup launched to avoid Sea Festival mess

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sea Festival was held in Kampot near the Rainbow Bridge in 2015. Heng Chivoan

Authorities have announced the launch of a cleanup campaign ahead of next month’s Sea Festival in Kampot province.

Kampot provincial Department of Environment director Suy Thea told The Post on Tuesday that the province’s Department of Public Works and Transport was busy improving roads as the environment officials cleaned public parks and creeks before the festivities.

“Environment officials are educating people and business owners on cleanliness and collecting waste in public [areas] based on three clean principles – clean ground, clean water and clean air,” Thea said.

The annual festival, now in its eighth year, is held on a rotating basis in one of the Kingdom’s four coastal provinces as a way to increase tourism and boost environmental awareness.

Kampot province, Thea said, produced nearly 60 tonnes of garbage each day – nearly twice that of 2015 – adding that this was due to the rise in the number of tourists.

In a bid to reduce the burden on the environment, he said that more than 200 people had been prepared to collect rubbish during the two-day festival on December 20-21.

Provincial tourism department director Soy Sinal told The Post that his office was speaking with restaurateurs to ensure that their menus were reasonably priced during the festival to avoid accusations of unfair price increases.

“For the sake of convenience, our team has prepared a catering route for vendors to register food options during the festival as well,” Sinal said.

The first-ever Sea Festival, held in Preah Sihanouk province in 2012, drew some 50,000 tourists. Since then, the festivities have grown substantially.

More than 400,000 people attended the Sea Festival when it was last held in Kampot near the Rainbow Bridge in 2015.

This year’s celebrations are to be held in Kampot Stadium, about 200m away from the Rainbow Bridge, to accommodate the larger crowds, Sinal said.