Pandemic has brought Cambodia’s construction sector to a sluggish time

The shortage of construction materials and lack of labour are named the two main reasons for the stagnation of construction activities 

Operations are expected to return to their usual pace once the government is able to contain the coronavirus spread. Source: Jusky.T/Shutterstock

As movement restrictions and blockades are implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Cambodia’s construction sector has been brought to a near standstill, reported Phnom Penh Post 

Ieng Sotheara, co-founder of Arakawa Co Ltd, said that the project was delayed and that the number of workers had been cut down from 2,000 to about 100 after the lockdown, all of whom stay onsite. 

On top of the labour shortages due to the travel ban, the project also faces difficulties in transporting construction materials to supply the site.  

Sotheara said, “Construction on the Arakawa project during this period has been minimal because there is not enough manpower and even if there were, we wouldn’t have enough construction materials.”  

However, operations are expected to return to their usual pace once the government is able to contain the coronavirus spread 

Huy Vanna, secretary-general of Housing Development Association of Cambodia, said the mere announcement of travel restrictions had led to a slump in the construction sector, specifically in Phnom Penh and Kandal province’s Takmao town. 

He mentioned the shortage of construction materials and lack of labour as the two main attributes of the stagnation.  

“Since construction is not a priority during the lockdown, the number of workers at each site has been nearly completely diminished. At the same time, the transportation of construction materials cannot be smooth,” Vanna said.  

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Nevertheless, he encourages people to remain optimistic and carry out their part in adhering to lockdown measures so that the blockades could end soon.  

Chiv Sivpheng, Cambodia Constructors Association general manager and secretary, said that smaller projects still saw more sluggish activities as they don’t have workers staying onsite or the storage space for extra construction materials.  

“I acknowledge that activity at the sites is really declining sharply, especially at smaller buildings that do not have the equipment,” he said, asserting that the COVID-19 vaccination rollout would get things back to normal soon.