Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - River contamination attributed to cassava



River contamination attributed to cassava

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Traces of Cassava waste that was dumped by agricultural company Khmer Viniyok Kasekam has caused concerns within the community members of Pailin province's O'Tavao commune. Photo supplied

River contamination attributed to cassava

Villagers in Pailin province’s O’Tavao commune say they filed a complaint to the provincial environmental department last week about the alleged dumping of cassava waste by agricultural company Khmer Viniyok Kasekam, prompting a cleanup effort by the company.

Improperly processed cassava can be toxic, and locals yesterday said runoff from the company had killed animals and caused skin irritation among children who had swam in the river, though the firm denied it had intentionally released the waste into the waterway.

“The company dumped the waste, including liquids, into the river, killing fish and some marine biodiversity,” said Roza Filin, 34, an area resident. “It [also] prevents us from using the water from the river.”

Another villager, Mat Slesh, 54, accused the company of failing to make proper arrangements for waste management and dumping refuse along the river bank, which emanates a foul smell.

“Some children got itchy skin all over their body after they swam in the river, and some adults had respiratory issues because they breathed the smell from the rotten cassava waste,” Slesh said.

When contacted yesterday, company manager Ok Samphors, 39, denied villagers’ allegations of dumping waste. He said that his company, acknowledging the environmental risks, had constructed two ponds in which to deposit the waste.

“However, it has rained continuously for a week, so the ponds became full and the waste spilled into the river. The company did not dump it [into the river],” Samphors said.

He added that the company retrieved the waste from the riverbank on Monday after receiving advice from authorities.

Pailin provincial environment department director Kem Sokha corroborated Samphors’s account, agreeing that the incident was unintentional.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of