Four children drowned on Tuesday in two separate incidents in Oddar Meanchey and Pursat provinces, local officials said yesterday. According to Vong San, commune police chief in Oddar Meanchey’s Anlong Veng district, three boys – brothers Ke Sokleak, 9, and Ke Sokla, 6, and their cousin, Neng Danet, 4 – all drowned in a pond located about 50 metres behind their house.
The children were playing in hay used to fertilise watermelon crops when their parents lost track of them, San said, noting the parents were busy working on the watermelon plantation. The children had already drowned by the time their parents realised they had entered the pond.
“[It was] the mistake of their parents, who are careless and irresponsible about their safety,” San said. In a separate incident in Pursat, 15-month-old girl Ton Leakhena drowned in a reservoir while her mother was working as a vendor, officials said.
A 2012 UNICEF report noted that drowning is a leading cause of childhood death in Cambodia.