A group of 175 people in Chiphuch commune’s Krasang and Thmei Villages in Prey Veng province’s Mesang district have petitioned district authorities to order a local councillor to reopen a canal.

Krasaing village representative Sok Ratha told The Post on Sunday that commune councillor Sak Sot blocked the water which led to the flooding of many hectares of paddy fields.

“The people want Sak Sot to reopen the canal on both sides,” he said.

Resident Orn Sothea said the canal was built in 1976 and improved in 2009.

“But floods have caused severe damage to the paddy fields over the years. When we grow rice it’s difficult because there are no waterways, drainage, or canals. We asked for the opening of the waterway, but they won’t allow it to open,” Sothea said.

Sot, a member of the Chiphuch commune council, told The Post on Sunday the canal was indeed a remnant of a previous generation, but he is not the one to fix it.

“The people have in the past said I closed the waterway, flooding hundreds of hectares of paddy fields. The government can come and investigate because the hundreds of hectares are not flooded,” he said.

Mesang district governor Keo Pisey told The Post on Sunday that the matter of the canal has been solved but the people won’t let it go.

“He [Sot] didn’t dig that canal. The size of the canal is still the same but the people keep complaining,” Pisey said.

He said the soil in the canal had blocked the water. He said Sot agreed with them to dig it out but they have yet to do it because they don’t have enough money.