Washington, DC – Vy Phalla has a deep attachment to her hometown in Cambodia’s Koh Kong province, a land where mangroves ring the sandy coast and the waters teem with fish and crabs, providing sustenance to generations of villagers.
So when large-scale sand dredging off the coast of her village, Koh Srolao, began to destroy fish stocks and other aspects of the natural environment, Phalla, a 31-year-old fisherwoman, was deeply distressed.
Still, she felt powerless against the large business interests that have for years been removing huge quantities of sand off Cambodia’s coast, much of which is sold to Singapore for the city-state’s land reclamation efforts.
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