Prison Without Water Supply After Broken Pipe

Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison has been buying truckloads of water for inmates since a road construction crew broke the water pipe leading to the jail last week, officials said Sunday.

Prey Sar commune chief Khat Sokhay said a company hired by the Phnom Penh municipality to renovate the road around the prison accidentally hit the pipe.

“The pipe broke about four days or so ago when a company restoring the road hit the pipe,” Mr. Sokhay said. “They are fixing the pipe. We do not know when it will be done.”

Pin Chanthy, a Prey Sar prison official in charge of prisoner case files, said that at least 3,000 inmates are now relying on the trucked-in water.

“The pipe broke and there’s no water a few days already,” Mr. Chanthy said. “Prisoners in both the prison’s Correctional Center One and Correctional Center Two use the water from this pipe. We’ve had to buy trucks of water and use the water in a pond.”

Neither Mr. Chanthy nor Mr. Sokhay knew the name of the company hired to rebuild the road, or the cost of trucking in water.

Long Dimanche, City Hall spokesman, said he was not aware of the issue.

Am Sam Ath, senior technical supervisor of human right groups Licadho, which monitors the prison, said that the problem has to be solved as soon as possible.

“The water was not enough to supply [the prison] even before the pipe broke,” he said. “How about now that the pipe broke? It will affect sanitation and cause skin disease like rashes and other respiratory issues.”

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