Five years of successful environmental protection by oeoo in Battambang/Cambodia

Five years of successful environmental protection by oeoo in Battambang/Cambodia


Five years of successful environmental protection by oeoo in Battambang/Cambodia

The city of Battambang is located on the Sangké River, a quiet, small body of water that meanders picturesquely through Battambang Province and flows into the large and fish-rich Tonle Sap Lake. This takes in water in the rainy season and transfers it in the dry season to the Mekong River, which flows into the South China Sea.

Because of its old French colonial architecture and its pretty location on the river, tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the city every year.

To ensure that Battambang remains attractive and appealing to tourists and its residents, cleanliness in all areas of the city is a priority. In this regard, the Battambang city administration has been relying on a fruitful cooperation with One Earth – One Ocean e.V. (oeoo) for the past 5 years. In recent years, Battambang has been awarded the title of „cleanest municipality“ in Cambodia several times.


The oeoo team in Battambang currently consists of 8 people and not only cleans the Sangke River, but also its numerous small tributaries. Several times a month, oeoo and volunteers carry out targeted collection campaigns with schoolchildren, monks and public service employees at certain sections of the river. Collection bins for plastics have been set up in schools and oeoo staff also conduct training sessions for citizens on environmental protection in everyday life.

The team members receive a monthly salary that is always adjusted to the cost of living in Cambodia. According to their hard work, they are covered by health insurance in addition to the state health insurance, and their children are cared for in facilities run by the NGO COMPED, oeoo’s partner in Cambodia.

In 2021, the team of oeoo environmentalists, together with volunteers, was able to remove about 70 tonnes of waste from the water bodies, process it and send it for material recycling, thermal recycling or other sensible disposal. In 2022, 104 tonnes of waste have already been collected. Of this, 48 tonnes ended up in a cement factory for thermal recycling (incineration), where they replace oil and gas. This is because the heavy pollution of the waste and the long storage time in the water mean that the plastic waste can hardly be recycled.

Several clean-up events were organised this year by the oeoo team in Battambang, including with young people, monks, school children and even tourists.

The collected waste is sorted. Around 50 per cent is used as high calorific value material for energy recovery. The other 50 percent can be recycled: on the one hand by composting, on the other hand by making the plastic waste available as a secondary raw material for the plastics industry or it is landfilled in an environmentally friendly way.

For their unrelenting work, the oeoo team Battambang received the award as „environmental activists of the city“ from the provincial administration.