Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phnong yet to vacate ahead of flooding

Phnong yet to vacate ahead of flooding

Community members cut bamboo to build makeshift rafts below their homes in preparation for expected flooding caused by the closing of the Lower Sesan II dam’s gates. MOTHER NATURE
Community members cut bamboo to build makeshift rafts below their homes in preparation for expected flooding caused by the closing of the Lower Sesan II dam’s gates. Mother Nature

Phnong yet to vacate ahead of flooding

A group of men from the 58 remaining ethnic Phnong families in Stung Treng’s Kbal Romea village began collecting bamboo to build rafts to keep their homes afloat in preparation for flooding expected following the closure of the Lower Sesan II dam’s gates on Saturday.

Kbal Romea resident Foeum Sanay, 43, said the villagers intend to use the bamboo to float some 30 homes, explaining that each one needs 1,000 bamboo sticks to float. So far, said Sanay, the 15-man crew has only managed to collect around 100 bamboo sticks.

Meanwhile, representatives of 24 ethnic minority groups from 15 provinces yesterday issued a joint letter appealing to the National Assembly, the Cambodian government and the Hydropower Lower Sesan II Company to refrain from “forceful and violent evictions” of the 58 indigenous families currently in Kbal Romea.

Eighty-two Kbal Romea families have relocated to land close to National Road 78 as part of a compensation scheme, but 58 families remain in the village. The authors of the letter point to villagers’ complaints about poor soil and difficulty accessing water during the dry season at the relocation site as legitimate reasons for the villagers to remain where they are.

Stung Treng Deputy Provincial Governor Duong Pov said the authorities have no intention of violently evicting the villagers and plan to deploy hundreds of police to the area for the villagers’ protection.

“Sometimes they mock us, but we are patient,” he said.

As for the construction of floating houses, Pov dismissed the effort as a temporary and highly risky solution, saying that with a two-metre increase in water levels at the dam reservoir since Saturday, a further rise of one to three more metres could flood Kbal Romea.


  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which