CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrith accused authorities at the Manhattan Special Economic Zone in Svay Rieng of purposefully blocking a water drainage system yesterday, leaving the surrounding area flooded.
“Kong Saphea and I will go examine the areas where Manhattan blocked the drainage system, leaving roads and many hectares of rice fields flooded,” Chanrith wrote in a Facebook post.
Bavet Town Governor Seng Seyla, meanwhile, initially dismissed the problem yesterday, only to seemingly contradict himself moments later.
“There is no waterway blocked,” he said, adding that “there is no water system connecting the special economic zone to the rice field area”.
But he also said that local officials are currently negotiating with Manhattan to open their water system in order to let the water drain from the rice fields.
Ken Lee, a representative from the economic zone’s administrative department, said that they have partially blocked their irrigation system in order to protect the zone.
“We did not block it 100 percent. We still let some water in, but we need to protect the property inside,” he said.
Lee also said they are trying to find a way to cooperate with local authorities, and touted a plan to build a drainage system connecting the rice fields with a nearby river.
“The lawmaker wants water to go through the middle of Manhattan,” Lee said.