Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fish farmers resist as lake is drained

Fish farmers resist as lake is drained

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A view of Boeung Samrong in the capital’s Prek Pnov district. Pha Lina

Fish farmers resist as lake is drained

Some 60 per cent of 302 families living at Boeung Samrong lake in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district agreed to accept compensation as authorities began draining the lake in preparation for increasing its depth, said Prek Pnov administration chief Sim Sophorng.

However, the remaining residents who rejected it said they will continue to live there until they receive compensation that’s acceptable to them.

On January 14, district authorities set a 10-day deadline for the residents, who use portions of the lake as fish farms, to move out so as to deepen the lake in order for it to continue being used as a reservoir.

Sophorng, who met with the residents of Boeung Samrong Lake on Monday, said the compensation is to pay for fish fry the farmers will lose by moving, with the loss of each fish compensated with 50 to 70 riel ($0.012 to $0.017).

“We will not delay and they need to move out. We will begin our process by starting to release the water and we will bring in the vehicles to excavate and deepen the pond,” he said.

Fish farmer Mech Sary said he rejected the compensation as it did not fully cover the losses he will incur by moving. Sary, who has lived at Boeung Samrong lake for a year, said he will continue living there until he gets an improved offer.

“I have not taken the compensation because if I take this money, how long can I survive with it? The situation is very tough and the water is receding,” he said.

Sary said he wants 20 million riel to fully compensate for his loss and that his fish farming enterprise was his first business investment. He said that authorities offered him less than half of that.

Boeung Samrong lake is protected by Sub-decree No 65, signed into law in June 2008, and is state property stretching over 336ha.

The lake serves as a reservoir for draining rainwater from Phnom Penh and other provinces. Authorities say the residents cleared the lake and built a dam, causing it to become shallow and unable to fulfil its function.

Fish farmer Sar Chariya said he agreed to take the compensation as there was fair mediation and a reasonable offer made to him.

“My fish fry were reducing anyway, so I took the compensation. The water is receding and they started dying, so I agreed to take the three million riel offered to me,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the