About 400 families in Por Bakkor village in Kampong Thom province near the Stung Sen river said they would file a complaint today to provincial authorities to stop sand-dredging that they say caused a stretch of riverbank to collapse last year. Village representative Pen Bopharath said the collapse occurred while the Tung Kimla Company was dredging nearby. “138 families in my village have thumbprinted a complaint and filed it to Damrie Chaon Kla commune authorities to intervene and stop this company from dredging,” she said. “But the commune chief denied our request, saying that he didn’t have the authority to stop the activities of the company.” Prum Phanny, chief of Damrie Chaon Kla commune, confirmed that he had told villagers the matter was outside his jurisdiction. “I think that the people should file their complaint to the provincial Department of Industry, Mines and Energy or the Department of Water Resources because they provided the licence to this dredging company,” he said. Provincial Industry Department Director Nhek Kunthea denied issuing a licence, and officials from the Water Resources Department were unavailable for comment.
Sand Dredging: Villagers to file complaint