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Riverbank fails a concern

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A Kampong Cham riverbank collapses in November. FACEBOOK

Riverbank fails a concern

In response to the latest riverbank collapse in Kandal province’s Mok Kampoul district on December 13, the most recent of a spate across the Kingdom, authorities have moved to prevent more from occurring.

In the past three months, three cases of riverbank collapse have been reported in the capital’s Chbar Ampov district, Kampong Cham town and Kandal province’s Mok Kampoul district.

Experts at the Ministry of Mines and Energy inspected and monitored the Mok Kampoul district location since 2015. They ruled that the riverbank was vulnerable to collapse due to a very deep river bed – between 8m to 30m – on its west side at Russey Chroy commune, but shallow riverbed on the east side. This causes an imbalance and water currents impact the riverbank with great force.

They also ruled that underground pressure has increased this year causing lakes and the river to flood, while groundwater levels have also increased. When the water in the river recedes quickly, groundwater cannot adapt quickly enough, causing the groundwater to flow back into the river through the sand layer, softening the lower layer and making it easy to slip off.

Finally, experts said as the river in Roka Korng I, Roka Korng II, Russey Chroy and Prek Dambang communes curves sharply, water hits the riverbank strongly resulting in an increased risk of collapse.

Meanwhile, in Kampong Cham where a section of riverbank more than 100m long collapsed earlier this month,

local authorities have requested the central government allocate a budget for the riverbank’s renovation, the province’s deputy governor Keo Nearithy said.

“At the moment, the water level has receded and the collapse has stopped. But we will keep monitoring the site in case it happens again . . . we never know,” he said.

Separately, Veal Sbov commune chief Yun Sophal told The Post on Wednesday that authorities have built columns aimed to buttress the wall of the sliding riverbank, which caused two pagoda stupas to topple on October 20 and 21.

“Each stupa costs about $20,000,” Sophal said.

In March and October, inter-ministry meetings were held to resolve riverbank collapse problems and prevent more incidents from occurring. The meeting was attended by officials from the ministries of Economy and Finance; Water Resources and Meteorology; Mines and Energy; and Civil Service.

The Post could not reach the Ministry of Mines and Energy or the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology for comment.

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