Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Banteay Meanchey villagers protest against pumping of water from drying pond

Banteay Meanchey villagers protest against pumping of water from drying pond

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
More than 20 families from Thma Puok district’s Phoum Thmey commune in Banteay Meanchey province have expressed their objection to a request made by a local drinking water company to pump water from a drying communal pond. Photo supplied

Banteay Meanchey villagers protest against pumping of water from drying pond

More than 20 families from Thma Puok district’s Phoum Thmey commune in Banteay Meanchey province have expressed their objection to a request made by a local drinking water company to pump water from a drying communal pond.

They alleged that the firm had failed to live up to its promise.

The company, Mey Kimsok – named after its owner who is also the manager, made a contract with the community three years ago, agreeing to conserve the reservoir by closing the dam and excavating the water body to increase its depth and maintain water supply, district governor Dieb Chhuoun told The Post on Sunday.

However, the company denied ever making a written contract with the community. “We just had verbal communications with them when we started our business,” Mey Kimsok himself explained.

“The company has already placed a [pump] hose [in the pond], which is why the residents protested. They did not allow the company to take water out of there,” Chhoun said, noting that he had a meeting with the families one day earlier, during which they opposed the firm’s request.

Following the protest, Chhoun said, he inspected the site and ordered the company to stop pumping water from the reservoir which used to measure 100m x 100m and is six metres deep.

“But now the depth of the pond has decreased to 1.50m, with some parts even measuring only half a metre deep,” Chhoun said, adding that up to 800 families had used the reservoir.

Phoum Thmey commune chief Bun Veasna told The Post that his team had never issued any letter to allow the firm to carry out with its intention.

“The families still protested even though the hose was placed far away from the reservoir,” he said.

Veasna said Mey Kimsok had set up the device to anticipate for when their request to pump water would be approved.

“But since no solution has been reached, the company agreed it would retract the hose off the reservoir.”

Kimsok said the pond had never dried out before and that he promised to carry out an excavation.

“When it began to dry out, our [water] supply became insufficient. Therefore, we went to the commune and district chief to coordinate with the residents to find out whether or not pumping water was the right thing to do. If it is not right, we would just find a way to dig a well,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen