Rain Floods the Roads in Phnom Penh because the Lakes Are Filled with Soil – Thursday, 23.10.2008

Posted on 24 October 2008. Filed under: Week 583 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 583

“Former urban planning and construction organizer of Phnom Penh, the well known architect Mr. Vann Molyvann, said regarding the present flooding of roads in the city, that the city governors should organize a city plan. He commented, comparing the present situation to the Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime [‘Popular Socialist Community’ – 1954 to 1970 – the political movement created by then Prince Sihanouk] when city planning was carefully and properly considered, rain could not flood the city like it is happening now.
 
“Mr. Vann Molyvann talked especially about the fact that Cambodia is now being assisted by Japan, to plan a new sewage system for the city to deal with floods in the city when rain comes. A few days ago, after a heavy rainfall, water stayed on the roads of the city, around the New Market, in front of the Royal Palace, around Wat Phnom and the US Embassy, at Tuol Kork, with water up to the knees, especially also at the northern suburban regions of Phnom Penh.
 
“Those who are in charge of the sewage systems in Phnom Penh blamed that the problems are due to housing construction schemes, resulting in the filling of earth into places which used to hold millions of cubic meters of water; therefore, when there is rain, roads are flooded, but it is not because of the obstruction of the sewage system. However, the deep flooding on the roads in Phnom Penh is not blamed only on the filling of soil into the lakes in and around Phnom Penh, which has led to the loss of rainwater overflow areas.
 
“According to the urban planning expert Mr. Vann Molyvann, who obtained wide experiences in Cambodia, since he had been the head of a working group to plan Phnom Penh city during the Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime, and also in other countries observing solutions. He recommended that the Phnom Penh governor should plan the city sewage system properly, following systematically infrastructure standards.
 
“A Phnom Penh road traffic police officer complained again that their office is flooded stronger than before after the recent rain, and there is no drainage to let the water out, and the Phnom Penh municipality does not take any immediate action to pump out the water. The flood makes it impossible for the road traffic police officials to do their work and solve traffic problems easily, because the water goes up to the knee and stinks.
 
“A road traffic police official, who asked not to be named, living in Chrang Chamreh II, in Russey Keo at the northern end of Phnom Penh, complained to Radio Free Asia that the motorbikes and cars of employees and of the citizens in general cannot reach their place of work. He said, ‘First, our citizens who come to solve problem face dangers, or when they come to contact us for administration work, they have to cross water and now, that road has even been cut. Maybe tomorrow or one day later, the traffic on Road #598 will be impossible, while today it is bad, because if the water would rise just the breadth of a finger, it will reach electricity boxes, and we will have no access to electricity any longer.’
 
“Regarding the recent flood at different areas in Phnom Penh, Mr. Pa Socheatevong, the deputy governor of the Phnom Penh municipality, said that this problem occurred because citizens filled soil into the sewage systems, adding, ‘This problem does not just happen at the road traffic police office; and now we are opening a canal, so soon there will be relief from the flooding..’
 
“During this year 2008, the most heavily flooded places are the communes in the suburbs of Phnom Penh, such as Phnom Penh Thmey, Khmuonh, Tuek Thla, and Tuol Sangkae, because the sewage systems are blocked; the residents of those areas protest a lot.
 
“Cambodia used to be considered to be a pearl of an Asian city, and it was called the Second Paris of the world, or Paris of Asia during the Sangkum Reastr Niyum period before 1970, and Cambodia was named also an Island of Peace. A few years ago, Cambodia woke up from the destructions of a war of many decades, and it used to be ranked as a well developing city in the world.
 
“Assessments were made from different countries, seeing that the Phnom Penh residents cooperate well with the authorities to repair and to construct the city through a 50 plus 50 formula, 50% of the costs for repair and construction of infrastructure being provided by the municipality and 50% from the residents. There are still corrections required to solve the present problems: both the blocking of the sewage pipes, resulting in flooding in the city – and the traffic jam.
 
“It is a big problem Phnom Penh is facing: to be changed to a similar situation like 40 years ago, as a capital city of a kingdom, leading developments in the region. It is therefore fortunate for Phnom Penh that at present, Japan has focused and supports to construct a sewage systems, including for the low lying areas around the city, in order to protect the capital city from accidental flood and from rain floods.
 
“Rain flood on cities are, if one looks at big countries in Europe and the United States, irregular natural disasters, from which many televisions stations in the world share images of rain floods in big cities which destroy part of the infrastructure of those countries as a result of rapid flash flow of water across the cities, making houses to collapse. As for Phnom Penh which has never encountered such events – although there is small rain flooding, which can only flood some roads in the city – it cannot be considered to be devastating. However, they have to take action to prevent it by eliminating the landfill of lakes that can store dirty stagnant water, dirty water that should not flood the city again.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3430, 23.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 23 October 2008


Cambodge Soir, Vol.2, #55, 23-29.10.2008

  • Fishermen Warn about the Destruction of Fish [they said that the number of fish declines from year to year; moreover the size of fish become smaller, and they complain that it is because the use of illegal fishing tools; however the government said that the fish yield does not decline]
  • Khmer Shrimps Are Exported to US, European, and Asian Markets

 
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1775, 23.10.2008

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Conducted an Election to Choose a New Treasurer and a New Secretary General [on 22 October 2008, to replace Mr. Yim Sovann and Mr. Eng Chhay Ieng who had resigned]
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Encourages Investors and Businesspeople to Join to Strengthen Business
  • Poverty Will Not Be Eliminated without Respect for Human Rights
  • Bomb Explosion in India Kills Seventeen People

 
Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #269, 23.10.2008

  • The Boeng Tumpun Lake [in Meanchey, Phnom Penh] Nearly Becomes a Lake of Tears under the Development of the Phnom Penh Municipality [the Phnom Penh deputy governor Mr. Pa Socheatevong said the Phnom Penh municipality has sent a request to the government to ask for permission to develop the Boeng Tumpun area, but the government has not yet made any decision]

 
Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #124, 23.10.2008

  • English Parliament Member [Chris Mullin, Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vietnam, and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cambodia] Asks Siam [Thailand] to Stop Intruding into Khmer Territory [he said that Siamese Troops enter Cambodian territory and began the shooting]
  • Siamese [Thai] Troops Opened Fires Destroying the Preah Vihear Temples [during a clash on 15 October 2008]; Cambodia Complained to the Untied Nations to Take Action

 
Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6480, 23.10.2008

  • Today Military and Other Officials from the Provinces along the Cambodian-Thai Border Meet in Siem Reap to Improve the Situation


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3595, 23.10.2008

  • The Khmer Citizens at the Poipet Border Crossing Complain to the Ministry of Interior to Remove the Immigration Police Chief Pich Saran [for extorting their money when crossing the border]
  • Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – Releases a 108 Pages Report Showing that the Elections [on 27 July 2008] Were Not Fair and Free [because of many irregularities and complex problems]

 
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4723, 23.10.2008

  • UNICEF Wants an Independent Assessment on the Problem of Child Rights in Cambodia [so that Cambodia can avoid being unreasonably accused by different circles]
  • India Fired [its fist] Unmanned Space Rocket to the Moon Successfully [22 October 2008]

 
Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3430, 23.10.2008

  • Rain Floods the Roads in Phnom Penh because the Lakes Are Filled with Soil

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror. – And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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3 Responses to “Rain Floods the Roads in Phnom Penh because the Lakes Are Filled with Soil – Thursday, 23.10.2008”

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These problems will never be cured by government since they are created by the greed and power hunger of government. When are people going to wake up?

I make my living dealing with water and flood disasters, and they have made it a good business for me, but they should not have to make money at peoples expense while they are creating the problem.

I do what I do to help ease the pain, but these problems will never be solved with politics, so get the people together and make something happen. Get the people together, cure the problems yourselves, like they did 100 years ago.

We will never cure problems until “PEOPLE” get together and stop the carnage.

Khmer government officials are all dogs.

The comment calling persons “dogs” is both an insult and counter-productive (as it does not invite seriously challenge to consider one’s actions or positions taken), and it reflects also on the writer.

While we take note of this opinion, it is preferred to engage in rational and productive discussion, even of a very critical nature, whenever possible accompanied by clear arguments.

Norbert Klein, Editor


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