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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Homes along Bassac in precarious position

Houses in Kandal visited by government officials on Saturday are at risk of collapse due to erosion of the riverbank.
Houses in Kandal visited by government officials on Saturday are at risk of collapse due to erosion of the riverbank. Heng Chivoan

Homes along Bassac in precarious position

About 30 houses in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district are at risk of collapsing due to landslides on the Bassac River, an official said yesterday.

Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Dith Tina said that his ministry has assigned officials to investigate “the said threat of collapse” after receiving the news on the ministry hotline. “[The officers] said 30 houses are not in any dredging zone, but in the zone that collapses every year because of the natural river stream,” he said, declining to answering further questions.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the ministry said the houses were not near a sand-dredging operation run by local company Leng Chin. It said they were located where the river curved, and that the area was fragile when water flowed and likely faced landslides on a yearly basis.

Ministry of Environment Undersecretary of State Heng Chan Thoeun also said the affected area fell outside the company’s dredging zone. But added that the ministry has asked the company to pour sand in the affected area to even the levels.

“I think it will need thousands of cubic metres of sand,” he said. Raka Khpos commune chief Chhur Chho said the landslides began last year, but that the company only began to operate this year. Provincial and district officials are now counting the number of affected families to provide as much support as they can, he added.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY YESENIA AMARO

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