Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Siem Reap waste ‘pollutes’ river




Siem Reap waste ‘pollutes’ river

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Residents who live along the Siem Reap River say the sewage comes from vendors at nearby Por Langka market, hotels and large businesses. Photo supplied

Siem Reap waste ‘pollutes’ river

Residents of Siem Reap province criticised the flow of sewage polluting Siem Reap River on Thursday, saying it negatively impacted the environment and ruined the Kingdom’s reputation.

Khin Vandy, who lives along the Siem Reap River, told The Post on Thursday that the sewage comes from vendors at nearby Por Langka market, hotels and large businesses.

He said the sewage is affecting the Siem Reap town’s image as well as its people’s health, adding that the issue is long running and authorities have not intervened.

“People used to live further upstream, but were ordered to move to a different location due to [the land being subsidised]. They all moved away from the area. No one lives there anymore."

“They said that when villagers lived in the area, the river was dirtier, and that they’ve removed the mess. But, now, the large hotels are bringing it back in, wealthy people and market vendors are bringing [pollution] back,” Vandy said.

Another villager, who wished not to be identified, told The Post that the villagers are worried about the issue because of changes in the area, as well as authority’s inactivity in protecting and preserving the river which he considered a historical location.

He wanted the authority to take action and restore the river to its former state – not only during major national holidays, saying the authority must regard the river as a regular tourist destination.

“I’m worried that the river isn’t clean. It is located right in a tourism destination area that attracts many visitors – near Phsar Chas market. We see the river in a state of disrepair,” he said.

Siem Reap Provincial Hall spokesperson Ly Samrith could not be reached for comment. Siem Reap town governor Nuon Putheara could not be reached for comment. However, on Wednesday, he told local media that he had ordered a team to look into the issue, who will initially work with the market owner.

“First of all, we need a master plan from the provincial authorities, with assistance from NGOs, to help in the cleaning and elimination of water sewage,” he said.

One provincial officer, who wished not to be named, told The Post that the issue of sewage flowing into the river was being looked at. As it is currently the dry season, when the river is low, it exposes sewage, which badly affects the atmosphere and produces a rancid smell.

“The sewage does not merely come from hotels, but also from vendors from Por Langka market, which was closed down. Maybe the sewage came from people who live in the area. The project to clean the river is costly, and the government needs funding from partner NGOs and their research,” he said.

Chan Chamroeun, a provincial coordinator for human rights NGO Adhoc, said it was time that provincial authorities tackle the issue as it impacts the tourism sector in the area.

“I implore the relevant authorities to focus on the environmental issue and improve the city for the tourism sector. We can see that regulations for cleaning the town are not being paid attention to. You cannot just keep pouring sewage in without cleaning more of it out,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • China and India closer to ‘biggest’ showdown

    Indian and Chinese troops remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh on Thursday, signalling that the confrontation could become the biggest military face-off after the Doklam episode in 2017. Ladakh is a union

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered

  • Women detained for forcing kids to beg

    Two women were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday for forcing six children to beg for money for several months at the Chhouk Meas market in Krang Thnong commune in the capital’s Sen Sok district. Phnom Penh Department of Anti-human Trafficking and

  • Vietnamese tents baffle border guards

    Kandal and Takeo provincial authorities bordering Vietnam have expressed concern after witnessing irregularities by the Vietnamese authorities, including the deployment of soldiers to erect 114 camps just 30m from the border. Takeo provincial governor Ouch Phea told The Post on Thursday that Vietnamese soldiers had erected 83