Illegal Timber Harvesting Taking Toll on Roads

In mid July, at a ceremony celebrating the repairs on Nation­al Road 6 that were paid for by the Japanese, Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen ordered authorities to take responsibility to make sure the road is maintained.

Hun Sen also ordered that trees that have already been cut should be left in the forest to prevent more logging.

These orders have never been implemented.

At least 10 trucks carrying logs can be seen every day on Nation­al Road 6, traveling through Kom­pong Thom, Kompong Cham and Kandal. The deterioration of the recently fixed potholes on Road 6 are a testimony of the destruction caused by these heavy trucks.

The general staff of RCAF has used its forces to crack down on il­legal logging but have taken very little notice of the illegal transportation of logs on the roads where it is easily seen. No illegal loggers have been arrested for their crimes.

On television news programs, people can see a few cottages and sawmills in the forests being burned as part of the government’s efforts to stop illegal logging. Some chain saws were also confiscated.

As a frequent traveler, I am very much concerned about the condition of Road 6 because, even though it was fixed three months ago, potholes have ap­peared as a result of the weight of the log trucks.

If the authorities continue to drag their feet on this issue as they are doing now, the whole road will return to its previously poor condition, and I’m afraid that donor countries like Japan will no longer spend a penny on us.

Ham Samnang is an associate editor at The Cambodia Daily.

 

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