More than 300 residents of Pursat province’s Krakor district have lost one of their main sources of water in the dry season after a company filled in their stream with dirt, community activists and villagers said Thursday.
“The stream has been filled with soil, which causes villagers [to experience] lack [of] water,” said Bin Dy, 41, a resident of Tuol Makak village in Anlong Thnot commune.
“The company has also destroyed the road where our villagers walk everyday to find herbal trees in the forest,” he charged.
Lonh Leak, 48, said villagers throughout the district are currently facing water shortages.
But the troubles of those living in Anlong Thnot commune have been exacerbated since the company began filling their stream early this week.
“The company filled the stream in order to dig a new canal to supply their rice fields,” she said.
District police Chief Bin Vanna acknowledged that a firm named the Ratanak Visal company was constructing canals in the area to supply water to its rice fields.
Ratanak Visal, which was granted a forest concession in 1990, first cleared land to plant cashew trees, but when the crops turned out to be unsuccessful, the company leveled the land and in recent years has been growing rice instead, Bin Vanna said.
But Bin Vanna said he knew of no stream near the concession that had recently been filled, adding that all streams, lakes and ponds have merely dried up due to the dry weather.
Krakor district governor Sary Kosal said he was also unaware that a stream was being filled.
Contact information for the Ratanak Visal company was not available Thursday.
Kuch Veng, a forestry community activist in Krakor district, however, maintained the stream had been filled.
“They filled the stream. It seems to kill us indirectly,” Kuch Veng said.