Results from Waste Management Survey in Cambodia Published

Results from Waste Management Survey in Cambodia Published


Decentralisation is progressing well in Cambodia, with waste management being the latest set of responsibilities to be transferred to the municipal level. The National League of Communes/Sangkats (NLC/S), supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) in Cambodia, has just completed a survey to find out about current practices and future challenges for waste management in the country.

Waste and urban environmental issues have become one of the most pressing problems in Cambodia and are now being discussed on a daily basis in public conversations, mass and social media reports and policy dialogues. There is hope that decentralization will help municipalities deal better with this growing problem. This is the backdrop to the decision by the Royal Government of Cambodia in August 2015 to transfer waste management functions to the Municipal/District (M/D) level in the Kingdom by issuing the Sub-Decree No. 113 on Solid Waste Management in Urban Areas. 

To better understand the situation of the implementers at the sub‐national level, the National Committee for Subnational Democratic Development (NCDD) in cooperation with NLC/S and technical support from KAS have been gathering experiences and lessons for documenting the current practices and challenges on waste management at M/D level in Cambodia as well as in other countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Germany.

To gain information in Cambodia, a survey questionnaire was sent to 46 administrations on the M/D level, including 26 municipalities in 24 provinces and 20 districts in 12 provinces in September 2015. To supplement the survey, discussions on preliminary findings were held with small groups of stakeholders in November 2015 and interviews conducted with Sihanoukville (SHV) municipal council chief, Board of Governors (BoG), department of environment and provincial BoG.

The survey results show clearly that there are fundamental challenges to be considered for waste management function implementation. These challenges include amongst others a centralized mode of management, inadequate and inappropriate legal framework, and ineffective enforcement of legal instruments as well as inefficient human and financial resources. While some of the M/Ds have tried to be pro-active in implementing the new regulation quickly, it became apparent that many provincial administrations were unsure how to proceed and did not make it easy for the municipalities to move forward. Most of the administrations canvassed, therefore, preferred to wait for further instructions and guidelines from the top.

The survey also throws a light on various practices and legislation in the different municipalities and includes recommendations for the Cambodian government and other stakeholders on how to proceed with the decentralization of waste management in an effective and efficient way.

For more information, please download the attached survey report: 

For more information on resources and good practices on waste management on

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