Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Residents of Memot angry that battery furnace yet to be closed

Residents of Memot angry that battery furnace yet to be closed

Residents of Memot angry that battery furnace yet to be closed

RESIDENTS of Kampong Cham province’s Memot district on Thursday expressed frustration with the fact that a factory blamed for harming the health of families living nearby has continued to operate, even though officials ordered its closure on Wednesday.

Chork Roth, a representative of more than 100 families who filed complaints Tuesday with local officials and the NGO Adhoc against the factory, which is equipped to melt down batteries for the production of lead, said Thursday that he had seen two cartloads of coal and four cartloads of batteries being brought into the factory for processing.

“The sound of the machinery crushing batteries can still be heard, and smog was coming from [the factory’s] furnace on Wednesday,” he said.

“Even this morning, the factory still continues to melt down recycled batteries. We are afraid that the authorities told us a lie.”

EVEN THIS MORNING , THE FACTORY STILL CONTINUES TO MELT DOWN... BATTERIES."

Residents had accused pollution from the factory of causing nausea, vomiting, skin allergies, stomachaches and diarrhoea, among other ailments. Memot district governor Chek Sa Om said Wednesday that public health experts had examined the factory and the health of local villagers before determining that its furnace was emitting pollutants.
Chek Sa Om could not be reached for comment on Thursday, nor could the owner of the factory, Bin Kea.

Suon Dy, director of the provincial Department of Industry, Mines and Energy, said the reason for the delay in the shutdown could be simple bureaucracy.

“The provincial governor just signed the termination of the license of the company on Wednesday, so the letter of termination may not have arrived in the hand of the factory owner yet,” he said.

He said, though, that the factory would be shut down because “it has breached the agreement in which it promised not to harm the environment and the people’s health”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not