Koh Kong Water Shortage Leaves Families Dry

Hundreds of families in Koh Kong province’s Khemara Phoumint City are suffering from a shortage of water, which is provided by a reservoir that dried up during the hot season, local officials said Wednesday.

Smach Meanchey and Dang Tong communes typically receive water from the Cham Yeam reservoir in Mondol Seima district, said Pich Si Yun, provincial director of the department of industry, mines and energy.

The water is channeled from the reservoir, located about 7 km from the city, to the two communes by LYP Group, a company owned by CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat, he said.

“The reservoir is empty because there is no rain,” Mr. Si Yun said. “If there is no rain in the next two or three days, it will be a big problem.”

“The officials from my department have visited the reservoir and reported this problem to the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy,” he said. “We are all concerned here about the lack of water supply but we don’t know what to do,” he said, adding that about 800 families had been affected.

However, Dang Tong commune chief Lim Dy said the problem was more serious than the provincial authorities reported. All the families in his commune— more than 2,000—have been af­fected by the shortage for the past two weeks, he said.

“Sometimes, the water comes out at night, but only a little,” Mr. Dy said.

Long Paozy, 40, a resident in Dang Tong, said the water shortages were making life for his family of five children very difficult. “We have difficulties in our living when there is no water supply because it is very important for doing everything,” Mr. Paozy said, adding that they are using water he carries home from a well that is 2 km away.

In April, Sihanoukville also saw major water shortages after the state-owned Prek Tup lake dried up due to low rainfall.

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