More than one million people in Phnom Penh face the risk of increased flooding and loss of livelihoods as wetlands in the Cambodian capital are destroyed to build apartments and industries, human rights groups warned on Monday.
Developments – including the ING City township – will reduce the Tompoun wetlands to less than a tenth of its 1,500 hectares (5.8 sq miles), and lead to the eviction of more than 1,000 families who live on its edge, activists said in a report. It would also impoverish thousands of families who farm and fish in the wetlands in the city of 1.5 million people.
“The wetlands sustain local communities and play a vital role in Phnom Penh’s waste management and flood prevention,” said the report from Equitable Cambodia, LICADHO, the Cambodian Youth Network and land rights group Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT). “Millions of Cambodians will likely be affected by the potentially devastating impacts of destroying the wetlands.”