Deal With District Hasn’t Stopped Trash Dumping: Takeo Residents

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The landfill site in Takeo’s Samraong district. (Supplied)
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Nine of the 10 trucks that enter one Takeo village daily are still dumping trash in a 1 hectare field, despite a deal struck earlier this month between the district and company to first incinerate everything in a furnace, residents said.

Families in Samraong district’s Rovieng commune earlier this month protested and blocked roads over the trash dumping, which they said was spilling out of the field. A local official previously said the site was Environment Ministry-approved, but needed a wall built around it and the trash first burned.

Samraong district governor Ket Mao said at the time that he would submit a report to the Environment Ministry if the company did not follow those instructions.

Resident Hen Sriv said that as of last week, the company was still dumping trash, and burning some of it in the field instead of in a furnace.

“When people blocked the road in early January, the district authorities came to inspect the dump. At that time, the company representative made a contract with the people, and the authorities acted as witness,” Sriv said.

The company had promised to build a fence around the landfill to prevent wastewater from seeping into the people’s rice fields, to not burn garbage outside of a furnace, and pay compensation to people whose rice was affected, Sriv said.

However, Thul Ra, another resident, said 10 trash trucks a day continued to visit the site. About nine of them carried unburned trash that was simply dumped in the field, Ra said. Some of the trash was then burned outside at the site, she said.

Residents would block the road again if the situation continued, she said.

“When the road was closed, the authorities came to solve it. Otherwise, they would not have helped to solve it,” Ra said.

Chim Sovanrith, whom the villagers named as the trash company’s head, could not be reached, while Samraong governor Mao said over the weekend that he was busy and could not comment.

San Mala, an advocate for the Cambodian Youth Network, said authorities should revoke the company’s license if it did not comply with environmental and public health requirements.

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