Water contaminated by pesticides has been blamed for poisoning 31 people in Battambang’s Samlot district.
The victims, aged from 6 months to 40 years, were taken to Ka Sang health centre suffering vomiting, fever and headaches after using water from a stream and pond in Prey Thhom village on Thursday. All were expected to recover.
Provincial health service deputy director Ouk Vithiear said pesticides probably seeped into the water from the surrounding farmland.
“Pesticides used by local farmers got into the local pond and spread to a stream, where people get drinking water, on May 3,” said Vithiear.
However, Prey Thhom village chief Chmunh Deab said many of the victims had been using rainwater before getting sick.
Ministry of Water Resources Secretary of State Bun Hean said yesterday that farmers were not growing crops at the moment so there shouldn’t be any pesticide in the ground.
He said that villagers may have been using dirty containers for their water.