Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Farmers protest loss of dam

Farmers protest loss of dam

Farmers protest loss of dam

MORE than 500 people from Kampong Thom province’s Santuk district on Tuesday protested the dismantling of a Khmer Rouge-era irrigation project that they say has led to the flooding of their farmland.

Villagers say the dam, when it functioned, had been used to flush water in and out of farmland belonging to residents of Santuk’s Boeung Lvea, Ti Pou, Kraya and Kampong Thma communes. Government officials dismantled it last year to build a reservoir.

“My land has been totally flooded – I can’t plant rice anymore,” said Khaul Choeun, who claimed to own 2 hectares of flooded land.

In a meeting at Santuk’s Boeung Lvea pagoda, Santuk district governor Pich Sophea told villagers that the government would not be paying compensation to families affected by the flooding because they had planted their rice on state land.

“This is the government’s project to renovate the irrigation system,” Pich Sothea said, adding that the newly built reservoir provided water for residents of five communes in Santuk.

The villagers, he added, understood that they had no right to plant rice on state land but had been incited to protest for compensation by the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP).

“We have prohibited them from planting crops there, so when their crops are flooded over, we are not responsible,” he said. “We have prohibited them again and again – they know already.”

Men Sothavarin, an SRP lawmaker from Kampong Thom, denied that the SRP had incited the protest.

MOST VIEWED

  • Police seek arrest of Chinese ‘gang’

    Cambodian police remain on the lookout for 20 Chinese nationals who earlier this month posted a video clip threatening to stoke insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province, though the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh maintained the group posed no threats to Cambodia’s national security. National Police

  • Rapper deletes song critical of Cambodian social issues

    A young musician has deleted from Facebook and YouTube a rap song that was critical of Cambodia’s social issues and announced that he will stop singing the song after officials visited his home in Siem Reap province and allegedly gave him a warning. Provincial

  • Man arrested for fake PM endorsement

    The owner of currency exchange company GCG Asia Co Ltd was temporarily detained by the court yesterday for attempted fraud after Prime Minister Hun Sen reacted to the company using his name and pictures to allege his endorsement of the firm. Phnom Penh Municipal Court

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on