Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ceremonies bemoan effects of hydro dams

Ceremonies bemoan effects of hydro dams

A worker passes the Kampot Hydro power dam in 2014
A worker passes the Kampot Hydro power dam in 2014. Pha Lina

Ceremonies bemoan effects of hydro dams

More than 200 locals, students and NGO staffers joined together yesterday to pray for Cambodia’s rivers and to raise awareness of the potential deleterious effects of the Lower Sesan II dam and the proposed 2,600-megawatt Sambor dam.

An annual International Day of Action for Rivers ceremony has taken place in Stung Treng’s Kbal Romeas village since 2015, after a community representative saw a similar ceremony in Thailand the year before and brought the idea home, said Bun Thann, a coordinator for 3S Rivers Protection Network (3SPN). This year, ceremonies also took place in Kratie province’s Koh Thnaoth village and Ratanakkiri province’s Seang Say village, Thann said.

Sem Vuthy, an alumnus of Earth Rights International’s Mekong School and a consultant on land development for NGOs, said he first pitched the idea to the Koh Thnaoth community as an opportunity to “talk about how people make their livelihood off the river and how the river is connected to the people”.

Central to the ceremonies in each province, which included dancing, painting and speeches by community elders, were prayer sessions, in which locals asked water spirits to protect their rivers from the impacts of the Lower Sesan II dam and the proposed Sambor dam.

In Stung Treng, Thann said, monks blessed the Srepok River, while indigenous Phnong people asked the spirits to preserve their river from Lower Sesan II and curse those responsible for its construction.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and