Floods and Phnom Penh’s Lost Lakes
The drainage system in Phnom Penh was unable to cope with the problem of flooding and as a result,many voices have come in for strong criticism.
Among all these affected districts, inhabitants of Boeung Kak criticized the most. Since Boeung Kak is the worst affected areas and where stagnant water from the flood still remains over 3 days after the initial downpour.
In 2007, Boeung Kak was leased to Shukaku Incorporated, who embarked on the Boeung Kak land project, which involved filling in the 90 hectare lake for building land. Boeung Kak is also one of six lakes in Phnom Penh that have been lost in similar way over the past decade. Other lakes have all been filled for land development after being leased to development companies by the Cambodian government.
No Place for Storm Runoff
Rather than the questionable legality and forced mass evictions, filling in the city’s lakes would inevitable bring problems in dealing with floods.
The lakes used to play a paramount role in reducing storm runoff for the surrounding areas. This is especially crucial during the rainy season. It is also likely that groundwater in and around the area of recently filled lakes is quite high, and thus floods more quickly. By filling in the lakes, developers have removed a significant piece of the city’s drainage system and replaced it with building land highly prone to flooding.
Residents of Boeung Kak have been vocal in their criticism of the city’s approach to flood control. Not only violence broke out between residents and police, but also stagnant water, combined with other dangers such as loose electrical wiring , is putting Phnom Penh’s in risk.
- You searched for phnom penh – FloodList. (n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2015, from http://floodlist.com/?s=phnom penh&submit=
- Report of the Cambodian Rural Urban Migration Project. (2012, August 31). Retrieved December 20, 2015, from http://countryoffice.unfpa.org/cambodia/drive/Rural-urbanMigrationinCambodiaReport2012_EngVersion.pdf
Flooding in Phnom Penh City – Sahmakum Teang Tnaut. (2014, October 3). Retrieved December 19, 2015, from http://teangtnaut.org/flooding-phnom-penh-city-2/?lang=en