Cambodia : Rural Roads Improvement Project

Sovereign Project | 42334-013

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.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Date, Shihiru
    Southeast Asia Department
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
  • Modality
  • Sector
    • Transport
Project Name Rural Roads Improvement Project
Project Number 42334-013
Country / Economy Cambodia
Project Status Closed
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
Nordic Development Fund US$ 5.40 million
Export-Import Bank of Korea US$ 19.35 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Transport / Road transport (non-urban)

Gender 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 Physical progress as of August 2016 is 100%.
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)

1. Project roads rehabilitated - constructions completed.

2. Improved MRD road asset management - activities completed in December 2015. Prakas for axle load control was approved by the Minister of MRD. The procurement for the axle load control equipment and support facilities are completed.

3. Increased road safety and awareness of potential social problems - The activities campaign on HIV/AIDS awareness were completed for civil works, but still have some small tasks to be undertaken by the consulting services, due to the extension of the climate change component financed by NDF.

4. Reduced vulnerability of project roads to climate change - Activities by the climate change adaptation consultants are ongoing, extended up to December 2016.

5. Efficient project management - The total personnel of PMU staff and project implementation units (PIUs) 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.

Geographical Location Angkor Chum, Bakan, Krouch Chhmar District, Memot, Moung Ruessei, Odongk, Ou Reang Ov District, Rolea B'ier, Sandan, Srok Basedth, Srok Kandieng, Srok Kralanh, Srok Memot, Srok O Reang Au, Srok Odongk, Srok Phnum Kravanh, Srok Phnum Sruoch, Srok Prasat Sambor, Srok Puok, Srok Sameakki Mean Chey, Srok Sandan, Srok Toek Phos, Varin
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples B
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects All civil works contracts have been completed. The roads visited during the review mission in December 2015 were generally clean and are without construction spoils on them and in adjacent agricultural lands. Clean-up and most post-construction mitigation measures have been implemented satisfactorily. Sites that were used as materials, equipment and fuel storage areas during construction have been cleaned and restored. However, some borrow pits that are now being used as water reservoirs need warning signs indicating the water depth. In particularly deep pits, some flotation devices or ropes may be necessary for safety. Safety on the new roads could be a problem and PMU, PDRD and ADB agreed to enhance information, education and communication efforts on road and traffic safety. Although no major environmental issues have been encountered in this Project, full compliance to some EMP mitigation measures is a problem that is continuously addressed through corrective actions.
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 Date, Shihiru
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Transport and Communications Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Rural Development
H. E. Try Meng
[email protected]
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 30 Sep 2016

Loan 2670-CAM

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
23 Sep 2010 22 Oct 2010 06 Jan 2011 30 Jun 2016 - 13 Dec 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 17 Jun 2022 33.55 0.00 100%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 24.75 17 Jun 2022 33.55 0.00 100%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Title Document Type Document Date
Rural Roads Improvement Project: ADB Resilient Infrastructure Project Snapshot Documents Produced Under Grant/Loans/TA Mar 2021
Rural Roads Improvement Project: Project Completion Report Project/Program Completion Reports Aug 2018
Rural Roads Improvement Project: Follow-up Review Report Proactive Integrity Reviews (PIR) Aug 2017
Rural Roads Improvement Project and Rural Roads Improvement Project II: Project Procurement-Related Review Report Proactive Integrity Reviews (PIR) Sep 2016
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 See also: Safeguards
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 See also: Independent Evaluation

Title Document Type Document Date
Cambodia: Rural Roads Improvement Project Validations of Project Completion Reports Oct 2019

Related Publications

None currently available.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.

  • 28 May 2014 | Article

    Cambodia Road Project Empowers Women

    Changed perceptions about road construction work enable Cambodian women like Khoun Sophorn to earn money without having to work far from home.


No tenders for this project were found.

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found

Procurement Plan

Title Document Type Document Date
Rural Roads Improvement Project: Procurement Plan Procurement Plans Dec 2015