Sand flooding worsens at Boeng Kak, villagers say

Residents said yesterday that Shukaku Inc had continued to pump sand and mud into their community near the shore of Phnom Penh’s Boeng Kak lake, with the mixture now standing about 1 meter deep in some places.

Separately, residents said they planned to file a complaint with the Interior Ministry today, because a group of protesters was threatened by police following a demonstration at City Hall on Monday.

The sand and mud villagers said is flooding their homes is being pumped into the lake by Shukaku, a private developer that was granted a 99-year-lease for the area in 2007.

“Last week it was bad with the sand flooding, but this time it is worse,” said Khun Serey, 53, a widow who lives in Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune, near the shore of Boeng Kak lake.

Ms Serey said she had moved to a relative’s house with her son and nieces, as the sand and mud was about 1-meter deep outside her house and roughly 10 cm deep inside.

Fellow resident Ty Pisey, 28, said the sand and mud had stopped most customers from eating at her restaurant along the lake’s shore.

“Since it has flooded [from sand] my income has decreased,” she said, explaining that her restaurant’s daily intake had dropped from about $1,645 to $470.

District Governor Sok Sambath said he had received a report on sand flooding and had asked Shukaku to move the pipe used to pump sand into the lake.

“I know about this issue. I contacted the company to avoid flooding,” Mr Sambath said, before declining to comment further.

Villagers also said they were going to submit a complaint claiming that police hired by Shukaku tried to confiscate equipment and threatened four protesters following Monday’s demonstration.

Tol Srey Peou, 35, said she was one of the four women who were threatened by police. “I am a victim,” she said. “The firm security scuffled with us. They touched my body. Is it not right that they touch our body, because we are Cambodian women…. Their action did not respect to the law.”


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