More families have been forced to temporarily move and numerous businesses were affected after a still-unpatched leak in the capital’s Prek Thnout dam led to unprecedented flooding along a section of road in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district starting late on Tuesday night. Continue reading “Flood advances across Dangkor”
The homes of 230 families in Phnom Penh’s southwest have now been evacuated due to flooding, an official said yesterday, as authorities worked to stem flooding caused by a leak in the Prek Thnout dam that threatens to send yet more water into the capital.
A collapsed section of wall in the Dangkor district dam has been sending water into the capital since the upstream Svay Dam in Kampong Speu was damaged on Saturday, putting pressure on it. Flood waters have already inundated parts of Dangkor district.
District Governor Nut Puthdara said the waters have so far flooded 569 houses in Dangkor, causing some families to be evacuated until the waters recede. “Up to Monday afternoon, 230 families were evacuated to live temporarily in the safe hills after their houses were flooded,” Puthdara said, adding that officials were surveying the extent of the damage in order to work out what flood relief to distribute.
Water Resources Minister Lem Keanhor said local authorities and villagers living near the Prek Thnout dam also continued yesterday to try to stem the flow of the water using sandbags and other debris, while officials from the ministry worked to repair the leak.
Further southwest, Hong Chansokha, director of Kampong Speu’s provincial department of works and transportation, said people should now avoid travelling on National Road 3, which is flooded, and instead use the nearby National Road 4. On Sunday, he had said those wishing to travel along National Road 4 should instead use National Road 3.
“We want people owning heavy trucks to use National Road 4 instead to avoid worse damage,” he said. “National Road 4 has returned to normal already.”
Kampong Speu Governor Vi Samnang said the waters were now starting to recede, and that damage to dams in Kong Pisei, Oral and Samrong Tong districts had been repaired to preserve water.
“Now the water has receded after it flowed to the lower areas, such as Kandal province, Phnom Penh and Takeo province,” he said. “Our team is filling in the damage to the dams with soil to keep the water, since we might be lacking it in the dry season.”
National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy said that since September 29, more than 10,000 hectares of rice paddies across eight provinces nationwide had been flooded, with about 3,000 hectares completely destroyed.
A little-publicized sub-decree signed in July and discovered by the Post yesterday in an NGO database raises questions as to whether the eviction on Saturday of six ethnic Kuoy families in Preah Vihear was in contravention of an order by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
On Saturday, provincial police, military police and Forestry Administration officials carried out what eyewitnesses have described as a violent eviction of six families from Bos Thom village in Tbeng Meanchey district’s Brame commune. The village sits in the middle of five economic land concessions held by subsidiaries of Chinese sugar manufacturer Rui Feng.
The evictions, however, appear to be in contravention of Sub-Decree 154, signed by Hun Sen on July 18, ordering that several hundred hectares be returned to the state by Rui Feng subsidiary Lan Feng to be allocated to ethnic Kuoy families living in Bos Thom and Sre Peng villages.
Government spokesman Phay Siphan said yesterday that if the sub-decree indeed invovled the six families’ land, unless an overriding sub-decree had been issued subsequently, those responsible for the evictions could find themselves in jail.
“Whoever abused the sub-decree would be jailed; I just want to make sure that this sub-decree has not been cancelled by another sub-decree,” said Siphan, who as of press time said he was still waiting for confirmation as to whether there had been a second prime ministerial order.
Project coordinator for the Cambodian Indigenous Youth Association Ngach Samin was with Kuoy families from Bos Thom as they lodged a complaint over their treatment with UN rights envoy Rhona Smith in Phnom Penh yesterday.
Samin said that prior to reading the three-month-old sub-decree to the families, they had been totally unaware that hectares of land had been returned to their community.
The sub-decree does not provide specific coordinates for the land in question, saying only that it is Bos Thom village, but both Brame commune chief Meach Sarng and provincial spokesman You Yin confirmed that the evicted families had been living in Bos Thom.
However, Provincial Governor Oun Chenda said on Monday that the evictees’ homes were built on land belonging to neighbouring Chheb district authorities. His claim was seconded by Chheb district chief Sok Sordara, who said they were in fact living in M’lou Prey commune’s Porteab village.
“What the commune chief said is not true; we have the law and the GPS . . . We are going to develop a village [in Porteab]” Sordara said, adding that alternative housing would be provided to those displaced.
Kampong Speu provincial authorities yesterday issued an order banning heavy trucks from using National Road 4 in Phnom Sruoch district’s Maha Saing commune in response to heavy flooding in the area. Continue reading “Trucks rerouted from flooded Nat’l Road 4”
Suspected timber smugglers have gotten off the hook in the vast majority of busts that have followed Prime Minister Hun Sen’s January call for a crackdown on the illegal timber trade, a Post analysis has revealed. Continue reading “Interactive: Few arrests in timber smuggling crackdown”
Thousands of homes in Phnom Penh and Kampong Speu have been flooded after three dams were seriously damaged following two weeks of torrential rain and warnings from government officials. Continue reading “Failure of dams leads to flooding in Phnom Penh, Kampong Speu”
A Forestry Administration official said yesterday that authorities have filed a court complaint accusing a commune chief in Kampong Thom province of clearing protected state forestland for private sale. Continue reading “Commune chief accused of clearing state forestland”