8 March 2010

A Load of Rubbish in Phnom Penh

A fire smolders in my street. It is the daily burn-off of residents' rubbish.

Southeast Asian streets are often strewn with it. The culture allows for tissues to be discarded on the floor after eating in a restaurant, and for general garbage to be thrown into gutters. My moto driver heaved his empty plastic drink bag onto the sidewalk today. This is normal.

However, as of next month Phnom Penh City Hall intends to rectify the state of it's streets.

5000 riel fines (US $1.20) will be administered to anyone seen discarding rubbish in public places.

The boulevards are wide, tree-lined and quite beautiful in some places. Perhaps this fine will go some way in returning Phnom Penh to it's hayday of being the 'Paris of the East' in the 1950's.

* Photo published in the Online Phnom Penh Post

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