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Villagers take on sand pumpers

Villagers take on sand pumpers

Villagers in Kandal province have instigated a turf war over a private company they accuse of illegally pumping sand out of Koh Prak River.

Fearing riverbank erosion could damage the surrounding community, about 100 residents of Koh Prak village in Kien Svay district’s Phoum Thom commune began protesting Saturday against the unidentifed company’s placement of three pipes in the river.

Kandal provincial governor Phay Bunthoeun said yesterday that after sending provincial officials to examine the situation, responsibility lay with officials in bordering Meanchey district, Phnom Penh.

“I will continue tracking this case, but this is not the problem of Kandal province,” Bunthoeun said.

After the protest, pumping stopped, according to villager Phok Dara, 51, who said two tubes had been removed while one remained in the river.

“We will have to wait and see which authorities take responsibility for this dispute,” he said.

Meanchey district governor Kouch Chamroeun denied the presence of private companies pumping sand in his district.

“If the Kandal governor said there was pumping in my territory, you should tell him to get more information.”

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