Two brick works in Kandal province’s Khsach Kandal district were ordered by local authorities yesterday to dredge out a canal they had filled in after it exacerbated flooding, prompting nearly 250 Kandal families to protest outside their commune hall on Monday.
“On Monday, authorities educated the workers to dredge the canal to drain the water out of [Tep Montrey] village,” Preah Prasap commune council chief Suos Sarin said, adding that the dredging was in the works.
According to Nuon Sokleng, a villager affected by the flood, the brick works – named for their owners, Hong Nhanh and Chan Vatey – had filled in a canal near the factory with soil in order to open up more space for trucks to transport bricks.
The filling cut off the area’s drainage, worsening local flooding. “Now, our living is very hard because we cannot grow anything or raise animals,” Sokleng said. Another affected villager, Keo Vanthorn, 56, added that the stagnant water surrounding her house allowed insects to breed. “Day and night, we worry about safety, especially our children’s,” she said.
Contact information for Nhanh and Vatey could not be obtained yesterday.