Tonle Sap Lake Communities Join in Plastic Waste Clean-Up in Low Water-Level Season

Caption: People get to work to collect plastic waste during the “Clean community, green Tonle Sap, without Plastics” campaign. Photos: Chris Hall

SIEM REAP — People of the Tonle Sap Lake communities have started their annual campaign to collect wastes in and along the lake. This is the sixth year they are taking part in the clean-up effort.  

Sea Sophal, who is director of the NGO2 Bamboo Shoot Foundation and is leading the campaign, said that this project has a positive impact on plastic waste management as well as encourages people living on and along the lake to take part in the operation and manage their environment.

Since Jan. 27, there have been nearly 1,000 participants who joined the campaign in the Kampong Khleang community of Soutr Nikum district, he said on Jan. 29.

Held under the theme “Clean community, green Tonle Sap, without Plastics,” the campaign will run for six months in other communities along the Tonle Sap Lake—including Kampong Phluk, Chong Kneas, and Me Chrey. It will end in that area on World Environment Day, which is celebrated on June 5, Sophal said.

Then the campaign will continue in the Prek Toal area in Battambang province as the focus is the whole Tonle Sap lake and not only areas of Siem Reap province, he said.

“If there still is time left for us this year, we will encourage more communities such as in Pursat, Kampong Thom, and Kampong Chhang [provinces],” Sophal said.

The campaign is a collaborative effort of the NGO2 Bamboo Shoot Foundation with the Cambodia Association of Travel Agent (CATA), the local authorities, tourism communities, private companies and organizations, students, and people of the communities.

launched in 2018, the campaign aims to raise awareness of plastic wastes in the environment in and around the Tonle Sap Lake, and encourages people living along the lake and in the floating villages to manage waste and plastic waste, Sophal said.

Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this story was translated by Meng Seavmey for Cambodianess.

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