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Apsara to restore ancient ponds to address drought

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Eight ancient ponds in Siem Reap province’s Puok district will be deepened and filled with water to assist farmers during this year’s dry season. THE APSARA AUTHORITY

Apsara to restore ancient ponds to address drought

Eight ancient ponds in Siem Reap province’s Puok district will be deepened and filled with water to assist farmers during this year’s dry season, the Apsara National Authority said on Wednesday.

“The restoration project will improve the livelihood of nearby residents and preserve the ponds as they are shallow and threatened by drought during the dry season,” spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on Thursday.

He said the Authority has “always cooperated with local authorities who wish to restore ancient ponds to preserve them”.

Kosal also urged the public to “avoid using the ponds for purposes other than farming” including “filling them with soil when they are shallow”.

The eight ancient ponds are Trapaing Kak, Trapaing Slberk, Trapaing Veng, Trapaing Tasne, Trapaing Kok, Trapaing Treas, Trapaing Praneth and Trapaing Chhork Snay in Donkeo commune, said an Apsara National Authority Facebook post.

Phoeung Phot, a villager in Donkeo commune, told The Post last week that commune authorities had restored many shallow ponds in the drought-struck area where he lived.

“Without the restoration, the ponds will be filled in even more and we will not have water for farming during the dry season.

“We need a reliable water source before we can begin farming. The villagers living around the ponds will also be able to access water for their daily needs,” Phot said.

The government issued a circular on November 21 which said Cambodia would experience warm temperatures and drought conditions until early 2020 due to extremely hot temperatures and a delayed rainy season due to the El Nino phenomenon.

Officials were already assisting some districts and provinces by taking measures to pump water, and restore and repair irrigation systems to aid farmers amid this year’s looming drought, said the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.

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