Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Flak over wood used for water festival

Flak over wood used for water festival

Flak over wood used for water festival

Some Siem Reap residents have criticised governor Khim Bun Song’s decision to use large amounts of wood to build platforms along the river for next month’s annual water festival.

On September 29, authorities said, “Siem Reap Provincial Hall needs 150 cubic meters of wood to build three platforms for the water festival. The Provincial Forestry Administration will handle this task and we allow Om Vattanak, the wood trader, to transport the wood to the town.”

A Siem Reap resident who declined to be named said the governor was helping to denude the forest. “It is too much [wood] for just building three platforms. He [the governor] maybe would like to give the wood trader the chance to clear the forest. We are afraid we will lose our forest,” he said.

Another resident, Ly Bora, said Siem Reap authorities should change their habit of using wood for platforms and use steel instead.

“Using steel to build the platform is safer than using wood. At the same time, the authorities can help save the forest,” he said.

But Deputy Provincial Governor Mao Vuthy said that because Siem Reap only recently decided to celebrate this year’s water festival after a two year cancellation, the government would like to make the ceremony special. “We need the wood to build three big platforms along the river because we would like to make the festival bigger than before and we hope it will worthwhile for local and international visitors,” he said.

In response to the criticism, Vuthy said, “We do not allow the wood trader to do something that abuses the law and we have already informed the Provincial Forestry Administration to work closely on it, so please do not worry.”

Vuthy added that 34 racing boats from various districts and provincial departments will feature during the festival and about a thousand provincial police and military police will be present.


  • LPG gas explosion injures 13 people, including foreigners, in Siem Reap

    An explosion on Wednesday at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) car and tuk-tuk refuelling station in Siem Reap city has left 13 people, including an American and a Briton, suffering burns. The seven most severely burned, including a provincial police officer, were sent to a Thai

  • Over 100 Chinese nationals to be deported for online scam

    The Ministry of Interior is planning to deport 128 Chinese nationals after they were arrested in Preah Sihanouk province on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in an online money extortion scam. Y Sokhy, the head of the Department of Counter-terrorism and Transnational Crime, told The Post

  • More than 800 people test positive for HIV in 2018

    The National Aids Authority (NAA) said more than 800 people tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) last year, joining over 76,000 others aged between 15 and 49 in the Kingdom already infected with the virus. The spread of HIV/AIDS in the Kingdom is showing few signs of

  • Rainsy vow to return on Nov 9 dismissed as ‘political warfare’

    An announcement from the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that its “acting president” Sam Rainsy would return to the Kingdom on November 9 was dismissed on Sunday as “political warfare”. The CNRP made the announcement on Friday after a permanent committee meeting chaired by