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Strengthening sustainable water supply services through domestic private sector providers in Cambodia (English)

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.


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    Working Paper

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    East Asia and Pacific,

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    Strengthening sustainable water supply services through domestic private sector providers in Cambodia

  • Keywords

    private water operator;water supply and sanitation service;piped water supply;return on investment;draft water law;Cost of Doing Business;business development service;development partner;private sector provision;private water provider;domestic private sector;private water sector;access to finance;private water service;public water utility;poor household;payment for service;water infrastructure asset;private sector utilities;theory of change;kingdom of cambodia;green field investment;technical assistance program;expansion of access;private service provision;independent regulatory body;rent seeking behavior;cost of labor;partial risk guarantee;quality control system;improvements in water;urban water sector;indicator and benchmarking;water treatment plant;private sector involvement;vocational training center;compliance with regulation;revocation of license;delivery of water;cash flow method;future cash flow;Technical Assistance Fund;criteria for selection;household water consumption;improved water quality;demand for service;enforcement of regulation;legislation and regulation;capacity building services;Private Sector Growth;local commercial bank;cost of capital;fee for service;private sector financing;rural potable water;decentralized government;water quality testing;economies of scale;allocation of grant;water quality standard;tariff setting process;cost recovery basis;population with access;Public Utilities;local bank;investment study;rural area;financial resource;legal framework;existing schemes;organizational development;grace period;regulatory environment;tariff regulation;business model;service coverage;public support;equity aspect;industry association;Rural Growth;water industry;competitive tender;license application;financial model;knowledge exchange;debt finance;connection rate;commercial viability;gap financing;investment amount;collateral requirement;license term;organizational capacity;grant financing;level of industry organisation;connection fee;annex annex;concessional finance;public funding;credit line;project financing;market potential;household connection;public finance;rural town;



Official version of document (may contain signatures, etc)



Strengthening sustainable water supply services through domestic private sector providers in Cambodia (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.