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

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,