Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen: Filled-in lakes not cause of flooding in capital

Hun Sen: Filled-in lakes not cause of flooding in capital

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Floodwaters from the Prek Tnaot river affected many villages in Sak Sampov commune of Dangkor district in late October. Heng Chivoan

Hun Sen: Filled-in lakes not cause of flooding in capital

Prime Minister Hun Sen said people who criticised the authorities’ response to flash flooding in Phnom Penh were jealous of the government’s development, saying it was not due to the fill-in of lakes but torrential rain that prevents the timely release of water.

Hun Sen made the remarks during the inauguration ceremony of the new headquarters for the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction on November 8.

“What I hate the most is that when there is a flood, some people curse us saying it is because [we] have filled in lakes. Do you understand the word flood? If the water coming and going is not balanced, there will be a flood.

“It’s not only from the Prek Tnaot river but also from the Mekong River. It is not only Cambodia that has been flooded, France also has flooded . . . because a large amount of water from the upstream and the downstream couldn’t be released in time,” Hun Sen said.

The prime minster said that in the past the capital had many lakes, but he pointed out that even now there is nothing to worry about, including the Kob Srov dam that some people fear would collapse.

“The reason people feared the dam would collapse was because a lot of water flowed into it. So, we had to pile soil in front of the dam to prevent it collapsing.

“I understand that it’s envy – jealousy of rapid development. The development to reach this stage is very good.

“The water used to increase by 100-200mm at a time, so not just drains or canals – even the Mekong River is flooded due to rainwater coming from the upstream,” he said.

Hun Sen reminded people that Phnom Penh used to have many lakes such as Boeung

Raing, Boeung Prolit, Boeung Keng Kang, Boeung Techon near Phsar Thmei and Orussey, but that the lakes have been filled in to build markets and other infrastructure.

Hun Sen asked why it was possible at that time, and why it

was not possible during his time.

“Floods in Phnom Penh have nothing to do with the Prek Tnaot River. Even if nothing is done to it, the river still floods [during rainy season]. But I do not encourage anyone to block the waterway or the flow of water. Do not continue to criticise flooding in Phnom Penh during the rainy season and place the blame on the filling-in of lakes,” he said.

In October, 1,600 families were affected when the Prek Tnaot river flooded Kamboul and Dangkor districts on the outskirts of the capital, while more than 10 families in neighbouring Kandal province were also hit by the flooding.

Floods caused by the river have now eased and authorities have withdrawn some rescue forces, while almost all the people who had been evacuated to higher ground have returned home.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement