Siem Reap’s water festival celebration has been cancelled for the second year running due to recent floods that affected many people in the province, Siem Reap governor Khim Bun Song said.
This follows the announcement of the cancelation of the Phnom Penh water festival in the wake of floods around the country that killed at least 39 people.
“This year's water festival in Siem Reap will be cancelled as our province had been suffering from the floods and many victims still need help. That is why we decided not to celebrate it,” the governor told Insider while he was walking along the riverside cleaning the city on Tuesday morning with relevant authorities and hundreds of students.
Flooding in Siem Reap last month affected thousands of families in several districts including Pouk, Angkor Chum, Krolanh, Varin and Srey Snom.
The governor added that along with houses and businesses, about 6,000 hectares of rice fields were also ruined.
But he said he felt that cancelling this year’s water festival would not affect the tourism sector as the festival is only an annual one-off occasion. He said he also believed that Siem Reap residents would understand the reasons for the cancellation.
Last year, the annual Water Festival celebration in Siem Reap was cancelled during the mourning period for the former King Norodom Sihanouk.
The water festival was first cancelled in Phnom Penh in 2011 following the terrible tragedy that occurred during the 2010 festival when 347 people were killed and hundreds more injured in a human stampede on November 22.