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Politician blamed for water woes

More than 70 families in Siem Reap province have lodged complaints against a politician who they accuse of siphoning water from the Kulen Mountains to irrigate his pepper plantation.

Seventy-one families in Banteay Srei district’s Tbeng commune had their complaints against League for Democracy Party president Khem Veasna discussed at a meeting of the Provincial Council on Friday.

They accuse the politician of installing a water pipeline from the mountain range to supply fresh water to his nearby plantation.

One villager, who declined to be identified for fear of reprisals, said that the community relied on the water for drinking, cooking and washing.

“He [Veasna] installed a pipeline above the village’s water pipeline from Phnom Kulen, so the water first goes to him to support his pepper farmland, which covers nearly 40 hectares.

Now we are seeing a shortage of water,” the villager said.

Sok Kimseng, a provincial councillor, supported the villagers’ claims, while commune chief Heab Tha said the case had been forwarded to the provincial court.

Veasna declined to comment yesterday.

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