Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Authorities fix breached dam

Authorities fix breached dam

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Battambang provincial authorities and residents are fixing a partly broken dam in Svay Cheat village after farmers breached it to irrigate their paddy fields. Photo supplied

Authorities fix breached dam

Battambang provincial authorities and residents are fixing a partly broken dam in Svay Cheat village, in Sangke district’s Raing Kesei commune, after farmers breached it to irrigate their paddy fields.

Provincial technical officials said some farmers secretly and illegally broke the canal system to supply water to their farmland, causing the dam to collapse.

Huot Chandararith, chief of the provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology administrative office, said on Sunday that the canal system was constructed following technical standards using strong concrete.

He said it connected with farmland irrigation systems in Banan, Kors Kralor and Moung Russey districts.

“This unlawful breaking of the main canal by some farmers devastated the irrigation system and caused a dam to collapse in Svay Cheat village,” Chandararith said, adding that his department’s patrolling officers were on a break at the time.

A Department of Water Resources and Meteorology report obtained by The Post on Sunday said technical officials have discovered 13 holes in the canal system.

The report said the holes were mostly dug not by small farmers but by those with 20-80ha of land. The holes were made from 20cm to 80cm above the bottom of the canal, causing water to flow out strongly and part of a dam to collapse, it said.

“Technical officials told the farmers to request the relevant departments to help them dig the canal in a standard way, but they did not follow their advice.

“We cannot prevent this sort of thing unless there is stricter law enforcement,” the report read.

It said the current issue had been resolved on Wednesday when the farmers agreed to stop interfering with the canal. However, they requested the authorities to construct a new dam so they can water farmland that is far away from the main canal.

Tuol Mates community leader Penh Phoeut said his community had been working to help improve the water supply to the main canal system.

“While some areas are flooded by too much rain, more than 8,000ha of community farmland faces drought. Therefore, our community is digging in the main canal to provide enough water,” he said.

Phoeut said the authorities have warned they will take stern action against any illegal interference with the canal system and a team of expert officials had been pouring concrete to repair the holes.

He said residents cooperated with the authorities on Sunday afternoon by helping to transport sand, cement and soil to reconstruct the 3m by 1m part of the collapsed dam.

Chandararith said: “We are very grateful for the citizens’ participation to preserve and repair this main canal.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the