MORE than 30 families in two villages in Kratie province have proposed the restoration of a 10ha natural lake named Boeung Ron to store water and irrigate the surrounding lakes.
The request was approved by the authorities, but they required the owner to complete the application in accordance with the law.
Horm Sophea, a representative of the 30 families said due to changing weather conditions, the Boeng Ron lake had dried up two or three years ago, and people asked the authorities to facilitate a company to make a three to four-metre deep reservoir for use in the dry season.
He said the people wanted a private company to do the digging and sell the soil. But the company agreed to restore this lake by doing the work pro bono.
“We want the company to help restore the 10ha lake and we want them to sell the soil as compensation. It is a win-win situation so they said will do it for free,” Sophea said.
Tao Channa, Krakor commune chief in Kratie province, said on Sunday that the authorities had approved the restoration of the Boung Ron lake.
However, it’s required that the company owner applies for a licence from the Provincial Department of Mines and Energy first, before it gets the right to do business and legally restore the lake.
Channa said the machine owners don’t have a proper licence for doing business yet, as in the past these machines were rented for small farm work by the villagers.
But he did not know the owners’ names. “We also want to restore the lake, but they didn’t have the proper licence because they did little business so far.
“Therefore, the provincial officials have temporarily suspended the machines in order to let the owners obtain a proper licence from the relevant body,” he said.
Kratie provincial governor Sek Bunheng said he visited the site and supported the restoration of the lake. He valued the villagers’ suggestion to store water for use in dry seasons, but the owners had not yet obtained permission to operate the machinery.
He said the lake has very little water at the moment, which is not enough for people to use, so it must be restored. “There is an abundance of water in the rainy season. If we make deeper reservoirs, we will have much more water for people to use,” he said.
The provincial fisheries administration director, Sean Kin, said the restoration of the lake does not affect the natural resources, but it helps the people farm.
“I already examined the lake and it does not affect the environment there. I think it will be good to grow water lilies or other relevant plants after it has been restored,” he said.
The Post was unable to contact the machinery owners for comment.
In addition, the villagers also asked Bun Thoeun Company to construct a road with a proper drainage system. They said constructing a road with drainage would help reduce floods in the rainy season which affect their homes, schools and pagoda that is about 100m from the lake.