Social Issues
Illicit drugs confiscated by authorities (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Drug Arrests, Seizures Up Amid Regional Rise in Illicit Drug Trade

Cambodian anti-drug police made more than 21,000 arrests and seized 3 tons of drugs, almost 3,000 motorbikes, 26 assault weapons, five residential properties and a warehouse, pointing to domestic production as well as a continued rise in trafficking across Southeast Asia.

A fisherman casts his net on Phnom Penh’s Boeng Tamok, on October 28, 2020. (Michael Dickison/VOD)

Government Allocates Another 22 Hectares of Tamok Lake

The government is siphoning another 22 hectares of reclaimed land from Boeng Tamok lake, this time for military police families and a new branch of a public hospital, raising the known total area allocated from the natural lake to over 900 hectares.

Sean Bopha of Comped explains the composting process and how it could be expanded throughout Cambodia, in Battambang on November 6, 2020. (Gerald Flynn/VOD)

As Trash Woes Pile Up, Community Efforts Fill In the Gaps

From organized volunteer cleanups to commercialized plastics recycling, community efforts dotted across Cambodia seek solutions to the 4 million tons of waste produced annually, which is filling up volatile dumpsites and soiling the natural environment.

An edjai scours Battambang’s landfill for salvageable goods, on November 6, 2020. (Gerald Flynn/VOD)

Scavengers: An Overlooked Backbone of Cambodia’s Waste Management

Analysis of the edjais and their impact on waste management throughout Cambodia is limited, but their haphazard scavenging for valuable waste buttresses the country’s waste management, says Kathrin Eitel, a research associate and anthropologist working with the University of Frankfurt.

Tractors are used for pumping water from a drying reservoir in Kampong Cham province’s Batheay district on December 29, 2020. (Michael Dickison/VOD)

Signs of Drought Arrive Months Early in a Kampong Cham Commune

For farmers in the area, there’s little hope for this year’s dry-season rice harvest. They irrigate in desperation, but they can already see there won’t be enough water. They are bracing to write off their crops, fall deeper into debt, and maybe lose their land, several said this week.