International and local non-governmental agencies are
concerned that the building of hydroelectric dams in China,
Laos and Vietnam could adversely affect Cambodia’s waterways.
“I think in the future, Cambodia
might have a big problem, because when they build the dam or construct some
other things in China, Laos or Vietnam,”
Mickey Sampson, a country director for the Resource Development International
Cambodia told VOA in Khmer in Washington.
Water that flows from the Himalayas flows into Cambodia, bringing to the Tonle
Sap river mud and soil,” Sampson said. But damming the Mekong river can reduce the flow of fertile mud and
change the diversity of wildlife in river systems, he said.
Meanwhile, the runoff of fertilizers and pesticides by
Cambodian farmers into rivers is also hurting the waterways, he said.
Sampson said his organization has had in place for three
years water monitoring systems, “so when they build the dam, then we can see
clearly that the quality of water and diversity are changing in Cambodia.”
Minister of Water Resources Lim Kien Hor told VOA Khmer
Cambodia was committed to environmental issues and was watching dam
construction on the Mekong carefully.
is paying a lot of attention to the water issue,” he said. “Laos plans to
build a dam, and we are interested to have a talk with them about this.”
The Khmer Association for Rural Development Cambodia, based
in Kratie province, worries that the construction of hydroelectric dams could
cause serious flooding and destroy thousands of hectares of farmland.