Cambodia – Foreign mining companies’ expansion destroys wild life in northern Cambodia


Location: Takream village, Takream commune, Banan district, Battembang province

Language: Cambodian

Duration: 00:05:51

Source: A24

Restrictions: A24 Subscribers

Dateline: 04-04-2022


Villagers in the Battembang province in northwest Cambodia have reported draconian measures undertaken by foreign mining companies in their pursuit to generate more profit. Ber Saran, a chieftain in the Takream village said the work of the mining companies has affected the village in so many ways, as he reported that following the government’s decision to allow mining companies to operate in the village, the mountain overlooking the village lost many of its wild life. He added that over 100 families around one of the companies’ sites have been hit hard by the dusts stirred by mining works, as their fields stopped growing crops as before. Saran said the village demands the companies operating near them to alleviate their suffering by spraying water on the road to help reduce the dust and simply cover the load trucks carry to prevent rocks from falling over the road. The lack of safety measures by the mining companies operating near the village has resulted in the death of a villager after an ill-devised explosion hurled a rock that landed on the deceased’s head.

Shot list:

–           (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Ber Saren (A Chef of the Village Paoy Svay):

 “In the past, this mountain was beautiful, full of forests, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and big trees, as now our country has a lot of development, especially the construction of new roads, so, they need a lot of stones, so some companies have asked for permission from the government to do business here.”

–           (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Prach Pov (A Takream Commune’s villager):

 “They are currently operating on the west side of my house, there are a lot of stone processors, it just started a large-scale in this year; Chinese companies and many other companies.”

–           (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Prach Chhem (A Takream Commune’s villager):

“The companies have been here for a long time, so far they have destroyed two mountains. Today, they are destroying others. There are many stone crushing machines all over there, and many truck are coming in and out non-stop day and night.”

–           (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Prach Pov (A Takream Commune’s villager):

“Those companies may have had shares with the government. In the past, only Mr. Chat. Now there are new companies coming like line of the snail.”

–           (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Prach Chhem (A Takream Commune’s villager):

“The passing truck was very dusty, there are the water truck spraying too, but dry very fast. my house is full of dust. I do not know what to do, because this is their business. “

–           (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Ber Saren (The Chef of the Paoy Svay Village):

“There is a little bit dust here, so, there is not many problems here, but there are around 100 families around the company site got big affected, while the plantation is not growing well because of dust. “

–           (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Ber Saren (A Chef of the Paoy Svay Village):

“The villagers want the company running business in this place to spray water on the road five times a day and help build a concrete road, and the last point is that the village wants the company to cover the load trucks carry well. It is not good to have a rock fall on the road and the dust fall out of the truck.”

–           (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Prach Chhem (Takream Commune’s villager):

“If we do not protect it, this mountain may be completely destroyed. And you can see up the road that the company’s machinery has eaten up Phnom Ta Kream, one side is gone. “

–           (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Prach Pov (A Takream Commune’s villager):

” We just want to be able to spray water on the streets regularly, and we ordinary people have no right or power to ban those companies, because we can die because they have more power than us.”

–           (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Prach Chhem  (A Takream Commune’s villager):

“In the past, there is a man who had lost his life after a rock fell from a mountain explosion and hit his head.”

–           (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Prach Chhem (A Takream Commune’s villager):

“If I talk about this, I will feel remorseful. I’m sad to lose this mountain, but I have nothing to stop them. If this village has this mountain, the next generation will know some history of this village, because it is the identity of our commune. But this mountain may not last long, it will disappear one day.”

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