Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Doors of dam closing

Doors of dam closing

Homes in Stung Treng’s Srekor village lay dismantled in anticipation of the flooding caused by the Lower Sesan II dam.
Homes in Stung Treng’s Srekor village lay dismantled in anticipation of the flooding caused by the Lower Sesan II dam. Eliah Lillis

Doors of dam closing

More than 100 households in Srekor and Kbal Romea communes will be forced to brace for flooding when the doors of the Lower Sesan II dam are closed in Stung Treng province next month.

The villagers, among them Lao and ethnic Phnong people, have so far rejected compensation offers to relocate and are now at risk of being submerged.

According to Stung Treng Provincial Deputy Governor Duong Pov, the doors will be shut for a month from July 15 to August 15 to conduct a technical test.

“The test involves filling the reservoir with water to examine how effective it is,” he said.

Pov added that the test is part of the preparation for the official closure of the dam’s doors on September 25, when 1 of 5 turbines will start operations.

The 400-megawatt hydropower project has been under construction for over three years and promises to boost the Kingdom’s electricity supply, lower costs and spur development.

But opponents fear the project could destroy local ecosystems and threaten the traditional livelihoods of the Phnong indigenous people.

Kbal Romea community representative Dam Samnang, who knew about the closure only through social media, said the authorities did not inform the 58 affected families in his commune about the oncoming inundation.

“It is a serious breach of human rights,” he said.

According to Pov, motorboats and 100 officials will be employed to assist the 121 households that are refusing to leave their homes, which are located upstream of the dam, when the flood begins.

“[Authorities] have already prepared to help them [but] whether or not they believe in us is their own issue,” 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,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the