Hundreds of farms were damaged and animals were killed in Ratanakkiri province in northeast Cambodia this week after water from a hydroelectric dam on the Vietnam side of the Se San river was unexpectedly released, Cambodian officials said Friday.
Chan Tong Yves, secretary of state for the Ministry of Agriculture, said it’s still unclear why the water from the Se San river, which flows from southern Vietnam into Ratanakkiri, was released.
“Our side, the Vietnam side and the Mekong River Commission must meet to resolve this,” Chan Tong Yves said.
Cambodian officials said neighboring countries who are part of the Mekong River Commission should inform each other of changes that could affect other countries.
“Thousands of our farmers living near the river have suffered damage to their homes, animals and crops because the Vietnamese side let the water flow into Cambodia without informing us,” Ratanakkiri Police Chief Yoeung Baloung told Reuters.
Provincial governor Kham Khoeun told Reuters that officials from both countries were discussing the problem.
“If we can’t solve this problem immediately and the Vietnamese side lets water out again, our farmers in the area will face a big problem making a living,” Kham Khoeun said.
Te Navuth, director of the hydrology department at the Ministry of Water Resources, said the border area could be continually flooded if water from the dam is released again.