A pumping station under construction in Phnom Penh will soon start removing floodwater that annually inundated the districts of Russei Keo and Sen Sok, officials said Tuesday. When fully functioning the station-projected to cost the municipality $4 million- should prevent flooding in at least nine communes that is expected to start next month.
“[The pumping motors] are fully installed and we are preparing to connect to the electricity supply,” said Mao Bunthoeun, director of Phnom Penh municipal department of water resource and meteorology, noting that five motors will start operating next month.
“For sure, when put into operation they will significantly help the reduction of flood water levels,” Mr Bunthoeun said. The station located in Russei Keo district’s Svay Pak commune will pump water to Kob Srov lake via three recently enlarged canals in the northwest of the city, he said. Two canals run through Tuol Sangke commune and another one though Sen Sok district’s Toek Thla commune, he added.
Currently seven small pumping machines at a separate location in Svay Pak commune do not have the capacity to remove the annual flood waters to the Tonle Sap river through pipes between 0.3 and 0.5 meters in diameter, he said.
The current pumping machines are unable to not prevent the annual flooding in the northwestern outskirts between July and September. The problem is exacerbated given that excess water is pumped into Russei Keo and Sen Sok from Boeng Kak lake, which is being filled in with sand by private company Shukaku Inc ahead of a massive construction project.
“This is a very big pumping station for the capital. The city will not be flooded again,” said Walter Manalastas, construction manager of Standard Construction & Engineering Company, who was at the new pumping station on Tuesday.
“The capacity of this pumping station is more than enough,” Mr Manalastas said.
Russei Keo district deputy governor Kaob Sles said that the new pumping station will stop local residents from worrying about flooding. District officials have already deepened and widened the canals in the area, Mr Sles said.