Khmer Water Supply Holding (KWSH), a piped-water utility company focused on expanding access to clean water in Cambodia, announced today that it has acquired a fifth water station in Kampong Trabaek district, Prey Veng Province. KWSH, which was incubated in 2013 by the founding team of OBOR Capital as project promoter and Insitor, made the purchase from Dalis Chhorn, formerly the sole owner of the Kampong Trabaek water station. The value of the deal remains undisclosed.
The water distribution license for the newly acquired water station covers a total of 14,000 households in Kampong Trabaek district, out of which only 3,000 households are covered by piped infrastructure. KWSH will invest new capital needed to install over 180km of main and secondary pipelines to cover an additional 9,000 households. The integration of this new station brings KWSH’s coverage to nearly 200,000 individuals across all areas where the utility company is licensed to operate in. KWSH’s efforts will vastly improve the health and quality of lives of rural households in Cambodia by providing clean water, which is safe for drinking and hygienic, consequently reducing the incidence of waterborne illnesses and poor sanitation. Furthermore, the water is available year-round at the turn of a tap. This reliability alleviates the severe pressures of the dry season on households when wells and other sources regularly become depleted, forcing people to resort to costly alternatives such as bottled water or delivery by truck. Finally, households with piped water are released from the burden of collecting water from inconvenient sources, a burden which traditionally falls on the women and children in a household.
Dalis Chhorn, who sold the business to KWSH through a share swap, is joining KWSH’s board of directors. This acquisition is slated to provide a strong foundation from which KWSH expects to commence its next stage of growth.
“Kampong Trabaek represents not only our largest station to date in terms of total households in the licensed area, but it is also our most ambitious expansion plan yet with a single station. The current infrastructure coverage is only just over 20%, which highlights an all too common issue in rural Cambodia: many households are simply excluded from the piped water market as they have no option to connect. We are actively raising funds and seeking new acquisition opportunities while developing existing stations with the aim of connecting half a million rural Cambodians to piped water over the next 10 years,” said William Puyo, General Manager of KWSH.
“The acquisition of Kampong Trabaek station is a major milestone for KWSH and a great achievement for both teams. Only 5% of rural households in Cambodia have access to potable drinking water, and we believe that KWSH will be the leading company to change this by bringing clean water to rural Cambodians. Dalis and her team bring invaluable local insights and experience in this sector to continue our growth and we see a lot of potential in creating a positive social impact as well as generating financial returns for our shareholders,” said Christophe Forsinetti, Chairperson of KWSH and OBOR Capital.
“People living in Kampong Trabaek area are the stakeholders that will receive the most benefits from this merger of Kampong Trabaek into KWSH. As a part of KWSH, Kampong Trabaek station will be able to extend our pipe network to fully cover the licensed area within the next five years,” said Dalis Chhorn, shareholder and board member of KWSH.