Kampong Speu police and the NGO ACNCIPO on Monday destroyed 117 illegal charcoal kilns in Oral district’s Tasal commune. The owners were required to sign a contract promising to stop the activities, which are taking place in the Phnom Oral Wildlife Sanctuary.
The locations of the kilns were at O’Anh Ja and Dong villages in Oral district’s Tasal commune.
In O’Anh Ja village, environment officials found 101 kilns. Thirty-four were destroyed and 64 others are to be destroyed by the owners within 15 days. There were 16 kilns in Dong village. Four were destroyed and 12 were allowed to be destroyed in 15 days, said the report.
Kampong Speu provincial Department of Environment deputy director Nov Nak said on Monday that working in collaboration with local authorities, his team created a committee to destroy illegal kilns.
As part of the operation, authorities will destroy kilns and cottages that citizens had illegally built in those areas.
No one was arrested and kiln owners were advised and made to sign contracts to stop charcoal production and forest logging, Nak said.
He said the authorities must also prevent land theft in the Phnom Oral Wildlife Sanctuary. “They build cottages to live in while managing their charcoal making business,” he said.
Phnom Oral Wildlife Sanctuary deputy director Hul Mara said on Tuesday that the authorities did not take all the charcoal from the kilns as the owners asked for 15 days to remove it.
“We gave them 15 days to destroy those kilns. If they do not follow the promise, our officials will destroy them. We did not file complaints to the court because they agreed to our demands,” he said.
ACNCIPO director Chea Hean said on Tuesday that Oral district joint forces and officials from 30 organisations destroyed charcoal kilns and cottages built illegally at O’Anh Ja village, Tasal commune, Oral district.
“There was a protest but officials talked to them and advised about the illegal charcoal business, logging and illegal settlement. They also warned the protesters about the legal consequences of their actions.
“They have just recently been doing this charcoal business. They bought wood from an area around Kravanh mountain, Koh Kong and delivered it to make charcoal at Phnom Oral,” he said.