Nearly 50 families from a village in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town yesterday protested to demand that a private utilities company stop restricting water supply in their area because they didn’t have enough water to drink and irrigate their crops.
Yet Vanteav, 42, claimed that Anco Water Supply – owned by ruling Cambodia People’s Party Senator Kok An – on Friday closed a reservoir in Kon Damrie village, halting water distribution to the villagers.
“We wonder why the company closed the reservoir while we really need it for everyday use, especially for our farms,” he said.
Sam Nang, another villager, said residents are in a dire need for water.
“Do they [the company] not think of the villagers’ needs or what?” he asked.
However, Teng Chhai Ya, a representative of Anco Water Supply, maintained the company had not closed the reservoir, but only limited the water distribution because it wants to preserve water to avoid facing another water shortage later this year.
Last June, the company’s water supply was also cut short because a record drought caused the reservoir’s water levels to fall. In 2014, however, the company was found to only be meeting half of Poipet’s demand for clean water.
Keo Vy, spokesman for the government’s National Committee for Disaster Management, acknowledged that the recent droughts had prompted some efforts to conserve water this year, but added that “for Poipet, we don’t have any problems yet; we have enough water now”.