Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Raising a stink in Siem Reap

Raising a stink in Siem Reap

Garbage collected from city roads and local houses piles up next to a trash receptacle at a dump site in Siem Reap
Garbage collected from city roads and local houses piles up next to a trash receptacle at a dump site in Siem Reap this week. Thik Kaliyann

Raising a stink in Siem Reap

Piles of waste stinking up Siem Reap’s Chreav commune are causing serious health problems and making the area unlivable, according to local residents.

The site in Knar village, which is run by refuse company Global Action for Environment Awareness (GAEA), is plagued with flies and a smell that leaves nearby residents reaching for the sick bag,
locals said.

“The smell is so bad from day to day, especially in the rainy season. Sometimes my family has to eat lunch and dinner under a mosquito net,” said villager Oun Srey Mao.

“My son gets sick every week – dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing – all that happened because of the smell of rubbish”, she added.

Residents of Knar village told the Post yesterday that the issue dates back at least to the administration of former Siem Reap governor Sou Phirin, who had not managed to find a solution despite multiple requests for intervention.

Loung Khin, another Knar village resident, said their hopes now rest with current governor Khim Bunsong.

“We need a clean and healthy environment; we want to see our children look healthy,” he said.

GAEA is the only rubbish collection company in Siem Reap. It also runs the Bakong district dump, which has attracted numerous homeless Cambodians who scratch out a living in the trash.

GAEA director Pho Phallkun said yesterday that the garbage storage area in Knar village had been created in 1999 when no one lived there.

“We chose that area because before no one lived there, and I know that the smell has affected people, but I really do not know what to do, because there are only people asking us to relocate [villagers], but no one has suggested a suitable alternative,” he said.

“We did not ignore the villagers’ suggestion, but we need time to do it, to reduce the garbage smell.”

Deputy provincial governor Kim Chhay Heng said that the company had been ordered to move to another more suitable area.

“They failed; they have to relocate to another site,” he said.


  • Hun Sen ready to ‘break record’, says Rainsy lost

    Caretaker prime minister Hun Sen used a meeting with 18,400 factory workers on Wednesday to predict that he would beat the record for being the world’s longest-serving non-royal leader. He also used the platform to slam political opponent Sam Rainsy who he said had lost

  • Sihanoukville land prices skyrocketing amid breakneck development

    Sihanoukville, the Kingdom’s most famous beach destination for tourists, is seemingly becoming a paradise for Chinese investors as well. The huge influx of Chinese investors has caused property values to rise, especially the price of land, which has nearly doubled in some places near

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by