Areng Dam Protests to Focus on Phnom Penh

Nou Sotheavy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
One of the banners protesting the Areng Valley Dam in Koh Kong province. (Photo: Apoch Cheng)

PHNOM PENH, September 25, (Khmer Times) – Alex Gonzalez-Davidson, an ardent opponent of the dam being built in the Areng Valley, has declared that he and his group will begin protesting in Phnom Penh this week. 

They will rally in front of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, as well as the Phnom Penh offices of Sinohydro (Cambodia) United and the other companies involved with the dam project. 

Sinohydro’s plans for building the 108-megawatt Stung Cheay Areng dam will require flooding around 20,000 hectares of the Areng valley.

Mr. Gonzalez-Davidson, a fluent Khmer speaker and environmental activist, is the founder of the group “Mother Nature” and is actively preventing the building of the dam which will destroy much of the ecosystem of the Areng Valley.

Eleven local activists were detained by authorities after they deterred officials and Chinese hydro-dam developers from entering the area. In return for their release, they had to sign a pledge not to block the roads again.

In a radio interview, Mr. Gonzalez-Davidson stated that he likes when the police stop him from riding a bike, or arrest him for blocking roads in the middle of the woods.

It gives him and his cause (the abandonment of the Areng Valley Dam project) vital media exposure.

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