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VN firm implicated in lake poisoning

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The lake spans 2ha and is about 500m from company property and 3km from houses. Photo supplied

VN firm implicated in lake poisoning

Ratanakkiri provincial environment officers plan to inspect a lake after a fishing community accused a Vietnamese company of dumping bananas and plastic waste in it, poisoning the fish.

The authorities said the company had removed all its waste, but the recent reports have led to a resurgence of interest in its activities.

Ratanakkiri provincial Department of Environment director Phon Khemerin told The Post on Monday that a working group had instructed Hoang Anh Gia Lai Company to sign a contract agreeing to dispose of rubbish properly.

The recent reports, however, claim the company disposed of bananas and plastic waste in the lake at Trapaing Chres commune’s Pram village in Kon Mom district.

The provincial environment department is assigning officials to inspect it in the coming days. “If it is found the company is affecting the lake, it will be fined according to the law. Whether it is a company or a house, it has to have facilities to dispose of rubbish properly,” Khemerin said.

Pram Village fishing community leader Duk Channy said in May, residents spotted a Vietnamese firm transporting rubbish for disposal in the lake. After commune and district authorities and the community inspected it on June 26, the company tried to bury the rubbish instead.

She said the waste included plastic sacks and bottles. She described the scene as smelly from poisoned fish and said residents have stopped bathing in the water and halted fishing after developing rashes.

“It is a conserved lake of the fishing community. This [behaviour] not only poisons fish but also residents,” Channy said.

The lake spans 2ha and is about 500m from company property and 3km from houses. “There is a lot of rubbish, not a little. There are hundreds of lorries carrying tonnes of rubbish,” she said.

However, Kon Mom district governor Sek Hay said the company dug out the waste from the lake completely.

“They have removed it. It is not waste, but banana fruits that were dumped into the lake. We made [the company] sign a contract to remove it,” he said.

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