Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Villagers decry resin stench

via CAAI

Wednesday, 02 February 2011 15:02 Uong Ratana

Representatives of 60 villagers in Kampong Cham province’s Chamkar Leu district yesterday filed a complaint asking the provincial governor to relocate a resin warehouse that is wafting terrible odours across their village.

Chhun Meng Chhoun, a representative from Ta Ong village, said that residents were becoming sick after putting up with the smell for a year.

“We request that the authorities intervene in relocating the resin warehouse because the smell could seriously impact the health of people in the village,” he said.

Chhun Meng Chhoun said that resin merchant Ly Iemthon had started stocking 10 to 20 tonnes of resin in his warehouse.

“Previously they bought one or two tonnes of resin and immediately transported it out so the smell was not so strong. But when there was no reaction from the villagers, they stocked more resin causing a very bad smell that we can’t stand anymore.”

Sar Sinat, a representative of the villagers, said that environmental officials reported to the provincial governor that they had solved the problem.

“They did relocate the resin warehouse, but they moved it from the west to the east of the village, so it’s still in the village,” she said.

Sar Sinat claimed that the smell from the resin was causing lung disease in the villagers.

“If the authorities don’t intervene to relocate this warehouse, all residents living in the village will die,” she said.

Resin merchant Ly Iemthon said yesterday that he followed instructions from the authorities and the provincial department of environment.

“I buy resin in the morning and immediately transport it to the factory in the evening,” said Ly Iemthon, adding that he stocked resin for periods of two to three months.

Provincial department of environment deputy director Phok Savuth said that the minister of environment had told him not to talk to reporters, but said that they had already solved the problem.

Provincial Department of Environment Director Ban Bunthoeun could not be reached for comment, but a report sent by Ban Bunthoeun to Kampong Cham Provincial Governor Hun Neng on January 19 and obtained by The Post stated that the villagers’ health was not affected by the resin.

The report also stated that stockpiles of about 100 and 200 kilogrammes of resin should not be stocked for longer than a day before being transported.

Kampong Cham provincial governor Hun Neng and Chamkar Leu district governor Kim Nuthniya yesterday declined to comment.

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