Road Maintenance Works in Tuol Kork District: Small Initiative, Big Impacts
Phnom Penh: Tuol Kork district (or Khan in Khmer) is one of the nine districts in Phnom Penh. It is located at the northern part of Phnom Penh and is divided to ten Sangkats (communes) and 143 groups. It is well known as home of large villas, served as residences, especially in its northern quarter. About ten years ago, most of the city roads were muddy and bumpy. On 15 February, 2005 a survey was initiated by Sangkat Beoung Kak 1 authority to renovate street # 287 and 556, by using “50+50 policy”.
It was a new formula initiated by the Municipality in order to raise additional fund for this road rehabilitation projects. It means that government will pay 50% and people, who own house beside the roads, pay 50% of the construction works. We answered to the survey positively and we should pay 630 US$ for our share, the price in 2005. After almost inhabitants along these two roads agreed to shoulder the cost, then the Sangkat authority issued another letter to invite to pay the money. We have paid our share on 12 June 2006, 700 US$ in cash with receipt. The road rehabilitation work was done about two years later. It was done before the national election in 2008. We can say it was a successful project, which contributed to the beautification of the city and to the well being of the people. We were happy to do it, so that we have asphalt roads and the dusk and the dirty became minimized.
The surrounding is looking much better now, with new apartments, villas, housing complexes with asphalted or concrete roads. New streets or traffic lights were installed. More vehicles caused traffic jams, especially during the rush hours, in the morning from 7 to 8:30am and in the evening from 5 to 7pm.
Since these roads need to be maintained on a regular basis, the Tuol Kork Khan authority had launched a new “Initiative for road maintenance project” and decided recently to buy basic equipments and small machinery for small repair and rehabilitation works of the roads within its areas. This initiative got also full support from the Municipality. It is a pilot project and I have not seen from other districts. Before, even for a small whole on the streets, authority could not or was not willing to do it themselves. They wait, wait and wait until it becomes bigger or all the roads destroyed. Then, they can make a proposal submitted to the municipality or higher level to get funding for this basic repair. It takes years to get it fixed. Nowadays, I can observe that these small trucks, small machines and equipments were moved around from street to street to fix the wholes or damaged road section. It is a good sign of decentralization at work. It was started as small initiative, but has big impacts.
Some districts authorities have started city cleaning campaigns (Dangkor, Daunpenh, Chamkar Morn, Meanchey etc). The Clean City Contest was launched on 27.02.2012. All nine districts/khan are involved in this campaign. We hope to see cleaner environment in our city in the future. We, as individual citizen, are very supportive to these initiatives and what we can and should do, are as follows:
- regular cleaning streets in front of our own house;
- do not throw litters on the streets;
- do park cars or vehicles properly;
- educate our family members to preserve the beauty and clean environment, wherever we go;
- use less plastic bags, replacing by Eco-bags;
- produce less garbage as possible;
- do not block the waterway or throw litters into the sewage system, so that the water can flow from the streets quickly after it rains etc.
Help to support these small initiatives to have bigger impacts for the benefits for all of us!