Four natural lakes totalling 300 hectares in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district have been designated state properties while more are set to have the same status.
The designation followed illegal encroachment by individuals who intended to claim the lakes as their own, said Kandal provincial governor Mao Phirun. He said the lakes are being preserved in the public interest.
“We designate the lakes as state property to prevent illegal grabbing. More lakes will be preserved,” he said.
Sa’ang district governor Nhem Vandin said on Tuesday that he had already listed a number of lakes, among them Boeung Tnaot which totals 83 hectares; Boeung Tek Chhor Cheang, 11 hectares; Boeung Torteng Thngay, over 40 hectares; and Boeung Rean Mean, over 135 hectares.
Vandin said the authorities are working to stop unlawful demarcation of the lakes.
“On June 21, district authorities went to remove more than 270 poles that were placed on the Five Hundred lake. Offenders had erected them in an attempt to claim the lakes as theirs.
“We’ll preserve the land and lakes. It’s more than 400 hectares in total – stretching to the Yuvachun reservoir that itself spans over 100 hectares. Intruders had attempted to erect posts to grab them, causing us a lot of headaches,” Vandin said.
Fishermen from Sa’ang district whose livelihoods rely on public lakes welcomed the move. Without the lakes, their families would bear the brunt of difficulty.
Provincial governor Phirun said more land and lakes across the province will soon fall under state ownership.
“As of now, we’ve registered more than 1,200 hectares of land as public properties across Kandal province. In Sa’ang district, we will designate properties totalling over 1,000 hectares,” he said.