Water in Phnom Penh – the lake infilling
The infilling of wetlands, streams and ponds has raised awareness and public sentiment in Phnom Penh. They are currently being filled with earth so as to create more developable land. This process not only raises human rights, but also environmental concerns. Many argue that water is not a constructible area, since they believe the infilling will cause more harm than goods in the long term development. However, the States and developers ignored the voice and insist filling. The States further set rules to claim that if a waterway is of no public value, it is eligible for infill. Therefore, developers in partnership with officials fill in waterways,transforming them into land that is physically and legally suitable for construction.
A politically controversial example is the Boeung Kak Lake, a lake of nearly 90 hectares, filled in by a company named Shukaku Incorporated, to create a site for a “multi-purpose recreation and living center.” Nearly 20,000 people have been evicted to make room for this development. In a recent protest, 13 former residents were demonstrating peacefully. However, they were subsequently arrested by the government, held without charge and further sentence to two and a half years in prison and only released after pressure from the International human rights community.
Boeung Kak Lake infilled
, residents have been evicted
The side effects of the infilling are considered unacceptable. This situation has long been argued since the 1900s, yet, the States keep ignoring this situation and mesmerized by the short term effect, causing significant impacts on property and hazard to life downstream. This not only increases in peak flood levels, but also increases the flooding frequency.
- Sahmakum Teang Tnaut – Samakum Teang Tnaut . a Cambodia Urban NGO. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2015, from http://teangtnaut.org/?lang=en
Flooding in Phnom Penh City – Sahmakum Teang Tnaut. (2014, October 3). Retrieved December 7, 2015, from http://teangtnaut.org/flooding-phnom-penh-city-2/?lang=en
City of Water. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2015, from https://cityofwater.wordpress.com/