Officials from the Mines and Energy Ministry and Kandal provincial authorities yesterday met to discuss action to prevent more riverbank collapses in Mok Kampol district following appeals from local residents.
A ministry statement yesterday said that the meeting in Kandal Provincial Hall identified three main causes of riverbank collapses in the district’s Russey Chroy and Roka Kong communes.
It said that the ministry found that the river depth at the west bank of Russey Chroy commune varies between eight meters and 30 meters, and that the east bank is shallow and sandy.
This unevenness in depth causes the west bank to become imbalanced when high tides hit the shore, it noted.
The ministry also found that riverbank collapses occur when water from floods sink into the land and flow back into the river under the ground, causing the soil to become unstable.
The statement noted that another reason is that the river meanders at Russy Chroy, causing the water to keep hitting the river bank.
Mem Sum, Roka Kong commune chief, yesterday said that there are more than 70 houses built along the riverbank and that more than 40 meters of the bank collapsed recently.
“The residents’ homes were not destroyed during this incident, but they are afraid that it could happen in the future,” he said. “Local authorities have come to the commune to advise us on what to do if the riverbank collapses.”
Kim Srun, a Russey Chroy villager, yesterday said villagers are afraid that there will be more riverbank collapses, which threaten their lives.
“Every year, the river bank collapses in a few places but this year many areas collapsed,” she said. “We appeal to the officials to take action immediately.”
According to yesterday’s statement, the ministry will temporarily suspend sand dredging in the area and put up signboards to mark where dredging can be done. It will station two ministry officials, along with local officials, to monitor the boundaries.
The ministry will also shore up areas where the riverbank has collapsed by filling them with sand.