More than 200 villagers from Siem Reap City blocked two trucks from passing their village on Monday in protest of the damage the trucks are causing to the community, allowing them to pass only when the company promised to help take care of the road.
Residents from Siem Reap commune’s Triek and Krasaing Roleung villages blocked trucks carrying soil from the Ly Haing Seng company as they traveled down the 4 km stretch connecting Phsar Krom market to Phnom Krom.
“Our villagers blocked them from driving because they damaged the road and caused dust to cover our houses and people,” said Pao Chhorn, chief of Triek village. “The dust has affected the health of the villagers and especially the children’s health.”
The villagers eventually agreed to let the trucks pass once the company promised to repair the roadway and regularly spray water on it to keep the dust down.
Mr. Chhorn said the state of the road had been a cause of concern in the community for five to six years and protests took place in 2012, 2013 and earlier this year. But each time, the company failed to properly repair the road.
“After we protested, the company negotiated with us and they promised that they will repair the road as good as before and spray water so it’s not so dusty,” village representative Prum Sara said.
So Platong, acting governor for Siem Reap City, said authorities mediated between the villagers and the firm and would enforce the agreement.
“Our authorities coordinated between Ly Haing Seng and the villagers and the company assured they will keep to their promises,” said Mr. Platong, adding they “will take action by the law” if the company does not fix the road.
Representatives of Ly Haing Seng could not be reached for comment.