Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Flooding inundates lakeside

Flooding inundates lakeside

Flooding inundates lakeside

DOZENS of homes on the edges of Boeung Kak lake in central Phnom Penh were inundated with water yesterday after flooding that locals blamed on the weekend’s heavy rains and recently resumed efforts by a local developer to fill in the lake.

“The company is filling in the lake with sand, but they do not take out the water first, so some of our homes have flooded,” said Pram Chamreourn, 39, a resident of Village 24 in Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune.

“I do not know where to go if the flooding in my house gets worse tomorrow.”

In February 2007, Shukaku Inc, headed by Cambodian People’s Party Senator Lao Meng Khin, signed a controversial lease agreement with the municipality, acquiring the right to develop the lakeside.

The following year, the company began filling in the lake to make way for a 133-hectare development project, which rights groups say will result in the displacement of more than 4,000 families.

Pich Sonly, 60, a resident of Village 1 whose house was flooded yesterday, said Shukaku had resumed pumping sand into the lake last week after a temporary hiatus.

“People’s houses are flooding but they still pump in more sand,” she said. She called the drainage system “inadequate”, and said it could deal with only a small amount of runoff.

Siev Saveth, 59, a resident of Village 24, said that she had already been forced to abandon her house because it was flooded with “a half-metre of smelly water”.

“I am afraid that my children will get sick because of the contaminated water,” she said. “I want the government to deal with the problem quickly.”
Sia Phearum, secretariat director of the Housing Rights Task Force, said that the threat of flooding was a tactic used by Shukaku to force residents to leave the area.

“When they fill the sand into the lake and don’t have any kind of drainage to get the water out, it can cause flooding and force the villagers to move,” he said.

David Pred, executive director of Bridges Across Borders Cambodia, said that Shukaku had been “flooding people out of their homes” since 2008.

“It is a supreme act of intimidation aimed at getting people to move away and accept inadequate compensation,” he said.

However, In Sathan, Srah Chak’s deputy commune chief, blamed the recent flooding on “a few days of continuous heavy rain”.
“The company pumps sand in, but they also take out water,” she said.

Phnom Penh deputy governor Nuon Sameth declined to comment yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,