Cambodia: Rural Roads Improvement Project

Sovereign Project | 42334-013 Status: Approved


ADB is helping Cambodia provide all-year road access in remote agricultural areas in seven provinces located mostly around the Tonle Sap Basin. The project will pave 505.4 kilometers of roads, promote road safety, and provide training and capacity building support for staff and agencies. It also includes climate change adaptation measures and support for emergency preparedness and response.

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Project Name Rural Roads Improvement Project
Project Number 42334-013
Country Cambodia
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 2670-CAM: Rural Roads Improvement Project
Asian Development Fund US$ 35.00 million
Loan: Rural Roads Improvement Project
Export-Import Bank of Korea US$ 19.35 million
Nordic Development Fund US$ 5.40 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Transport - Road transport (non-urban)

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description The project will improve Cambodia's rural road network by paving 505.4 kilometers (km) of rural roads in seven provinces, most of which are located around Tonle Sap Basin. The project also aims to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) to plan, manage, and monitor road maintenance operations by improving the sustainability of funding for road maintenance, increasing the participation and capacity of the private contracting industry, and strengthening provincial departments of rural development (PDRDs) as a means to support greater decentralization of road maintenance responsibilities. Furthermore, the project will help MRD establish an axle load control program for rural roads, design and manage a rural road safety program for the project provinces, and establish better implementation capacity for social safeguards within MRD. The project also supports initial work on road design and planning for climate change, and on emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response. The feasibility study for the project was prepared through an Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance (TA) to the government.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Roads are the principal mode of transportation in Cambodia. The road network of approximately 39,400 km includes: (i) national roads (primary national highways) with a total

length of about 4,800 km; (ii) provincial roads (secondary national highways) with a total length of about 6,600 km; and (iii) about 28,000 km of rural roads. Management of national and provincial roads is the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT), whereas management of rural roads is the responsibility of MRD.

The country's road network had greatly deteriorated by the early 1990s, as a result of the civil war. However, since 1992, with assistance from ADB and other multilateral and bilateral development partners, the government has focused on rehabilitating the core national infrastructure that is required for the economy to develop in a sustainable manner. Development efforts have increased the length of the paved national road network to about 2,700 km, which is slightly less than 25% of the total national and provincial road network.

The remote rural economy is becoming increasingly dependent on the improved national road network, yet the rural road network continues to deteriorate because of the steady growth in traffic, combined with a lack of maintenance financing, poor road maintenance standards, inadequate institutional capacity in road maintenance and management, lack of private contractor capacity, and design and construction deficiencies. The project will address these issues and provide reliable all-year road access from provincial towns and agricultural rural areas to markets, employment centers, and social services in seven provinces, serving about 560,000 beneficiaries. These provinces are Battambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom, Pursat, and Siem Reap, most of which are located around Tonle Sap Basin where a large proportion of Cambodia's rural poor live. Some of the current gravel roads, which are 5-6 meters (m) in width, are susceptible to flooding in the rainy season. Motorcycles constitute nearly 80% of the traffic on these roads, which have low to moderate levels of traffic; the average daily traffic volume ranges from 200 to 2,000 passenger car units, depending on the road section. The current annual growth rate of traffic varies between 3.6% and 6% based on the type of vehicle. These growth rates are forecast to increase by 7.2%-12% per annum, thus requiring a more sustainable paved rural road network to accommodate future traffic.

As a consequence of relatively rapid economic development, overloading of cargo vehicles has become a severe cause of road damage in Cambodia in the past 5 years. This is

also an issue on rural roads as a result of overloaded trucks that haul agricultural products and carry quarry materials for construction. While ADB is currently supporting axle load control programs for the national road network, the project aims to provide a wider coverage of control to curtail overloading in certain locations within the project provinces.

Cambodia has one of the highest incidences of road accidents in the world with 18 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles in 2007. This is a 50% increase from 2000 and nearly three times

higher than that in neighboring Thailand. Thus, deteriorating road safety is a major sector concern, especially with the increasing growth of traffic in rural areas. Increased traffic speeds resulting from improved paved road surfaces can also impose tremendous safety risks to rural communities. In line with the national umbrella programs for road safety and ADB's ongoing support through MPWT, the project will assist the MRD in designing and managing a rural road safety program for the project provinces. Additionally, given the natural disasters that Cambodia has faced in recent years, particularly the frequent flooding during the wet season, the need to address climate change considerations is essential. The project therefore includes a number of innovative climate change adaptation activities relating, for example, to road design and planning for emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response.

Supported by past and ongoing ADB projects and TAs, the draft transport policy has been approved by MPWT and is currently being reviewed by Cambodia's Council of Ministers

for final approval. MRD's policy for rural roads is currently being finalized and will supplement this transport policy. The rural roads policy needs to be approved and adopted within the project period to ensure effective implementation of all project outputs. MRD's sub-decree on the right-of-way for rural roads also needs to be formulated, finalized, and approved during the early stages of project implementation. This sub-decree will then be integrated with MPWT's subdecree for national and provincial roads to form the road right-of-way law for Cambodia. The project includes assurances for timely approvals of both the rural roads policy and the subdecree on the right-of-way for rural roads. The project is therefore in line with the draft transport policy of Cambodia; this transport policy is one recommendation of ADB's sector assistance program evaluation2 for Cambodia's transport sector.

ADB's country operations business plan (COBP) 2009-2012 for Cambodia aims to foster pro-poor and socially inclusive growth by enhancing environmentally sustainable agriculture and rural development. In light of the indirect impacts of the global economic crisis, the COBP seeks to do this by diversifying the sources of rural growth and bolstering poverty reduction efforts. The geographic focus of rural livelihood efforts will continue to be the Tonle Sap Basin, which has a large proportion of Cambodia's rural poor. The COBP includes four road sector projects in the program, all of which are in line with another recommendation of the sector assistance program evaluation, which requires ADB to shift its focus to the rehabilitation of provincial and rural roads.

(i) The Greater Mekong Subregion Cambodia Northwest Provincial Road Improvement Project will improve connectivity internally within the region and externally around the border areas with Thailand.

(ii) Two rural roads improvement projects,5 programmed for 2010 and 2012, will complement the above project. These two projects will rehabilitate and maintain connecting rural roads to improve the rural poor's access to markets and social services. The phased approach for the two projects is intended to resolve the current issues in the rural roads subsector (see paras. 5 and 6) in a systematic way.

(iii) The Provincial Roads Asset Management Project is programmed for 2011 to support MPWT in the rehabilitation of provincial roads.

The government's poverty reduction strategy for 2009-2013 (the Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency, Phase II) emphasizes generating economic

growth through the private sector, with rehabilitation and development of the country's physical infrastructure as a necessary precondition.6 The project supports this strategy, particularly as it enhances connectivity, economic exchange, and access to social services in remote areas of Cambodia. Thus, it is included in the COBP 2009-2012 as a core project in the transport sector.

Impact Improved access to markets, jobs, and social services in seven project provinces.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Safe, cost effective, all-year road access provided in remote agricultural areas in seven provinces of the Tonle Sap basin
Progress Toward Outcome The overall project progress as of end August 2015 is 96.4%, which showed 2.4% delay from the planned schedule. All 6 Civil works are completed. Activities for road safety, HIV prevention, road asset management and climate change adaptation are ongoing and have been generally delayed. Last review mission was undertaken during 19-22 May 2015. The Mission also participated in the green planting ceremony for climate change adaptation output funded by the Nordic Development Fund.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Project roads rehabilitated

Improved MRD road asset management

Increased road safety and awareness of potential social problems

Reduced vulnerability of project roads to climate change

Efficient project management

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Project Roads Rehabilitated - There are five contract packages of civil works, CW-B, CW-C, DW-D, CW-E and CW-F under ADB financing. Constructions are completed.

Improved MRD Road Asset Management - Prakas for axle load control was approved by Minister of MRD and was issued. The procurement for the axle load control equipment and support facilities are completed. Activities are ongoing. National level workshop for axle load control on rural roads is scheduled in September 2015.

Increased Road Safety and Awareness of Potential Social Problems -

Providing TOT training to school teachers, and youth groups including awareness with parents on helmet wearing, cyclist safety, pedestrian safety and safety school zone (SSZ) are ongoing. Road safety workshop is tentatively scheduled in early December 2015.

The activities on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention were completed in May 2015.

The Social and Environment Office (SEO) was created by MRD to prepare reports on the LGAP. LGAP reports are timely but require more detail particularly on (i) specifics of training conducted, and (ii) issues and challenges. Results against LGAP targets have slipped, and the cumulative female unskilled labor participation is currently 31.4% (May 2015). There have been difficulties in two areas: (i) difficulty in attracting women participation due to culture; and (ii) abrupt absenteesim of women from work or quitting due to family priority.

Reduced Vulnerability of Project Roads to Climate Change

Activities by the climate change adaptation consultant are ongoing. Tree planting ceremony was held on 19 May 2015, attended by NDF in Kampong Speu Province along 1KS4. Implementation of Flood black spots improvement in three provinces will start in early 2016.

Efficient Project Management

The total personnel of PMU staff and Project Implementation Units (PIMUs) of provinces is 82. Out of this 11 are women (13%). The PMU proposed to recruit new staff, 2 women to assist in road safety, and climate change adaptation outputs and 1 male to assist in the road asset management output.

Activities are ongoing in training staff of PMU and MRD in social, environment, and gender issues.

SEO was established in 2012 and now has 7 staff (3 females and 4 males).

Geographical Location 7 Provinces around Tonle Sap basin and other areas
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples B
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects All five civil works were completed in May 2015. Semi-annual environment monitoring inspection were done during May 2015. The completed roads were generally clean and environment conditions have been greatly improved due to dustless and smooth paved surface. No environment issues were found after completion of improvement works. Vegetation on embankment slopes has been growing in favor of frequent rains during wet season after completion of works. Most of the completed roads are still in the defect liability period and repair works are still occasionally needed in some sections. Although no major environmental issues have been encountered in this Project, it is apparent from site visit findings that full compliance to some EMP mitigation measures is a problem, that should be continuously addressed and is being monitored by the Mission.
Involuntary Resettlement There are no project issues with social safeguards.
Indigenous Peoples None expected.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services All consultants financed by ADB will be recruited according to ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants.
Procurement Procurement of all ADB financed goods and civil works will be in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines. International competitive bidding wil be adopted for all civil works contracts. National competitive bidding for goods will be adopted for contracts estimated between $100,000 and $500,000. Shopping will be used for contracts of less than $100,000.
Responsible ADB Officer Shihiru Date
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Transport and Communications Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Rural Development
169 Corner Road Soviet Blvd.
Phnom Penh
Concept Clearance 16 Feb 2011
Fact Finding 08 Jan 2010 to 18 Jan 2010
MRM 09 Jul 2010
Approval 23 Sep 2010
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 22 Jan 2010
Last PDS Update 19 Sep 2015

Loan 2670-CAM

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
23 Sep 2010 22 Oct 2010 06 Jan 2011 30 Jun 2016 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 59.75 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 35.00 23 Sep 2010 32.95 0.00 96%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 24.75 23 Sep 2010 30.14 0.00 88%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory
Title Document Type Document Date
Rural Roads Improvement Project: Procurement Plan Procurement Plans Dec 2015
Loan Agreement for Rural Roads Improvement Project between Kingdom of Cambodia and Asian Development Bank Loan Agreement (Special Operations) Oct 2010
Rural Roads Improvement Project Project/Program Administration Manual Sep 2010
Rural Roads Improvement Project Reports and Recommendations of the President Aug 2010
Rural Roads Improvement Project Summary Poverty Reduction and Social Strategies Aug 2010
Rural Roads Improvement Project: Gender Action Plan: Labor and Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan Gender Action Plans Aug 2010

Safeguard Documents

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Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Evaluation Documents

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Related Publications

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