Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Communities unite to oppose lake filling




Communities unite to oppose lake filling

Villagers from communities affected by lake-filling for commercial developments gather in Boeung Kak yesterday to launch the ‘Free the Lakes‘ campaign.
Villagers from communities affected by lake-filling for commercial developments gather in Boeung Kak yesterday to launch the ‘Free the Lakes‘ campaign. Hong Menea

Communities unite to oppose lake filling

More than 500 villagers from 40 communities across the country gathered yesterday at Boeung Kak in Phnom Penh to launch a campaign against the filling of lakes for commercial development projects.

Representatives from communities affected by the filling up of lakes, supported by the presence of around 10 monks, launched the “Free the Lakes” campaign highlighting the challenges faced by people who were evicted to make way for private-sector projects.

Following the launch, a smaller group of representatives proceeded to the National Assembly to submit a petition calling on Prime Minister Hun Sen to take action on errant private sector companies and government officials involved in the filling of lakes and evictions.

“We want government leaders to stop immediately development projects that require the filling up of natural lakes in this country,” said Boeung Kak evictee spokesman Chan Puthisak.

“The filling of Boeung Kak Lake set a terrible precedent, showing the tragedy of thousands of families who were forcefully evicted for the benefit of private companies,” he said.

He said other communities around the country could use Boeung Kak as an example to highlight the trials of the evictees displaced by development projects.

The petition, which refers to a report by urban NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), also details the negative results of filling up natural lakes around Phnom Penh.

STT director Ee Sarom said while the benefits from the big development projects went to big private investors and some high ranking government officials, it was the people who faced the difficulties associated with filling up lakes.

“We are worried about the filling up of some lakes in Phnom Penh, as that will cause land disputes and damage the ecology,” he said.

This week, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology announced the filling of lakes around Phnom Penh, such as Porng Peay, Tompoun and Choeung Ek, would cease.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped