Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Another village alongside the Mekong sees riverbanks collapse

Another village alongside the Mekong sees riverbanks collapse

Another village alongside the Mekong sees riverbanks collapse

Yet another village along the Mekong in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district has suffered the collapse of its riverbanks due to a nearby sand-dredging operation, village representatives said yesterday.

According to Yeng Yoeun, a villager representative from Russei Keo’s Koh Dach commune, several barges had been dredging sand in Koh Dach’s Chong Koh village around the clock, causing the riverbank in several areas, including those near villagers’ houses, to slide into the river.

“Now nine sand barges are dredging noisily night and day,” Yoeun said, noting that the dredging had been going on for four years with no intervention from authorities. “Before, [the slope] from the bank to the river was about 50 metres. Now when [we] go down, we immediately reach the water.”

Koh Dach joins Prek Liep and Svay Pak communes – also located in Russei Keo district – which were themselves subject to bank collapse.

Svay Pak villagers as recently as this month refused what they called inadequate compensation after dredging-induced bank erosion caused structural damage to their homes.

Long Botta, village representative in Prek Liep commune, said his house had toppled into the river in 2009 due to dredging.

Now, he added, the dredging company was stockpiling its sand near his home, generating excessive noise despite an October complaint to the Ministry of Environment.

Lim Sroy, a representative of the dredging company Lim Sroy Group, dismissed villagers’ allegations, saying the collapse was unrelated to his dredging, which he maintained was carried out at least 200 metres from the water’s edge, in accordance with the Ministry of Water Resources’ regulations.

“People misunderstand [when they say] that sand dredging makes the river bank collapse,” he said. 

“On the contrary, [dredging] is good because the dredging is like us clearing out the river[bed] for the government.”

Russei Keo District Deputy Governor Ly Rosamy said that district authorities would take legal action against any company that dredged unlawfully close to the river bank, but “we cannot prohibit them if they dredge in the middle of the river”.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Sokchea at [email protected]

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • PM warns party of complacency in leaked audio

    Two leaked audio tapes, purportedly of Prime Minister Hun Sen speaking candidly to senior officials, appear to hint at insecurities within the ruling party over the controversial dissolution of the country’s main opposition, with the premier warning that the party’s “struggle” didn’t

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially

  • Music festival promises big stage, has even bigger hopes

    With a line-up of local and international artists, and a massive outdoor venue booked on Koh Pich, or Diamond Island, Saturday’s Diamond Moon Festival is aiming to showcase contemporary musical and artistic talents at a scale rarely seen in the Kingdom. [img] But the