Five illegal charcoal kilns were demolished by forestry officials in Kampong Thom’s Santuk district this week, while the owners were threatened with future penalties if they don’t cease the practice.
Soth Mary, Kampong Thom Forestry Administration chief, told The Post yesterday that authorities found 17 illegal charcoal kilns located across three villages in the district.
The remaining 12 kilns will be allowed to finish their production cycle, then demolished.
“Our authorities … explained to them that this business leads to the destruction of forest in Cambodia since to get the charcoal, they have to log trees illegally,” Mary said.
Villager Ke San explained that he made charcoal as an income supplement to his primary job as a farmer. He may have to seek work elsewhere during the off season to make up for the loss.
“If there is not this job, I and others in my village will migrate to work as construction workers in Phnom Penh or Thailand,” San said.