Other Infrastructure Study

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    Strengthening Sustainable Water Supply Services through Domestic Private Sector Providers in Cambodia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-01-28) World Bank
    With the exception of Myanmar, Cambodia has the lowest access to piped water supply in the South East Asia region, which was estimated to be 21 percent in 2015. Less than one in ten rural households (7 percent) have access to piped water services on their premises, while for urban households, three out of four households enjoy these services (75 percent) (WHO and UNICEF, 2015). Against this backdrop, the Government of Cambodia in its National Strategic Development Plan 2014-2018 (Royal Government of Cambodia, 2013) prioritizes the acceleration of access to piped water services, in partnership with the domestic private sector. Private water operators are licensed and regulated by the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH). Scarce public domestic financial resources are solely channeled to state-owned utilities and enforcement of regulations is generally weak. With the exception of the French Development Agency (AFD), most development partners focus their grant and lending support on public utility investments. In 2012 the private sector is already estimated to provide 1.4 million Cambodians with piped water services, with the immediate potential for expansion of existing schemes covering another 2 million and further new schemes that could viably be developed for another 3 million Cambodians (Sy, Warner, & Jamieson, 2014) and ( (DFAT, 2014). Around 300 private sector utilities, around half of which are licensed by the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH), have a market share of almost 50 percent of those with access to piped services, mostly situated in rural towns and agglomerations of settlements, with 750 to over 3000 household connections. Driven by demand for higher services, the private sector in Cambodia will be an important driver for increasing access to piped water supply, especially in the rapidly urbanizing rural growth centers of Cambodia.