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Replication Enthusiasts on the Move (Kampot and Toul Sangker)

Replication Enthusiasts on the Move (Kampot and Toul Sangker)
17/04/2012

Cambodia

In a novel development, unforeseen in the original project design, two Cambodian cities have found the experience of exchanging best practices so satisfying, that they are keen to continue doing so on their own initiative.

From 5 to 8 March 2012, a small delegation from the Cambodian Sangkat Toul Sangker, including the chief and deputy chief of the Sangkat as well as the DELGOSEA coach, travelled to Bacolod in the Philippines for a so-called ‘capacity backstopping visit’. Toul Sangker and Bacolod are best practice partners, with Bacolod replicating Toul Sangker’s scheme of initiating public-private-people partnerships (PPPP) to upgrade the infrastructure in their town. During the initial study visit by the Philippine City to Cambodia, both parties found so much common ground and many shared interests that an impromptu return visit was agreed – not just for the representatives of Bacolod to learn even more from the Cambodians, but also for the councillors from Toul Sangker to adapt ideas from Bacolod for their own city.

The team from Toul Sangker was warmly welcomed by their counterparts from Bacolod with the mayor being particularly enthusiastic to be able to host the delegation. A busy schedule took the group to several barangays (neighbourhoods) were local infrastructure was being improved as a result of PPPP; meetings with ‘barangay captains’, city councillors and other city hall officials rounded off the trip. By the end of it, the delegates felt that they had received a thorough introduction into the way the PPPP scheme had been adopted in Bacolod and were able to take some important points home with them. The good cooperation with NGOs, for example, which had been a key factor for success in Bacolod, is well worth investigating further in Cambodia as well. The visitors were also very impressed by the strong local leadership and the commitment of the community– vital ingredients for a sustainable future for the project.

Taking the idea of extending the network and looking at more replication possibilities even further, a large group from Kampot visited Muangklang in Thailand. These two cities have not been paired before – Kampot is currently still implementing the best practice example of the Eco-savers from Marikina, Philippines. However, the city’s commitment to finding solutions to their waste problems meant that Muangklang’s way of managing solid waste in an environmentally friendly way, appealed greatly to the Cambodians.

Muangklang had managed to transform its town by introducing ecologically friendly waste management, concentrating on how to involve the whole community in ensuring a cleaner and more liveable environment. Methods used include the employment of Effective Micro-organism (EM) in the overall waste management process, a simple and inexpensive way of purifying wastewater before it enters a river, as well as the installation of grease traps in homes and garbage banks at local schools. The city’s mayor and other key project staff were delighted to welcome their Cambodian visitors and proceeded to explain in detail their waste management system. The group was shown the mangrove eco-system, the recycling centre and enjoyed several informative presentations and discussions on how Muangklang had managed to become a low-carbon city – a goal that Kampot aspires to as well.

This was seen as a very successful visit, giving the delegates ideas on how to move on from the Eco-savers recycling scheme to a more comprehensive approach to ecological waste management.

For the DELGOSEA project staff these two visits, which were initiated by the participants themselves, are encouraging examples of how the network is taking on a life of its own that will continue after the end of the project period.


Bacolod News on www.DELGOSEA.eu:

Kampot News on www.DELGOSEA.eu:

 DELGOSEA Best Practices: