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Drainage blamed for city flooding chaos

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
A man drives his motorbike through city floods. KT/Mai Vireak

Phnom Penh’s Public Works Department has explained recent widespread flooding in the city after much criticism on Facebook.

Department director Sam Piseth told local TV that factors such as climate change brought more than 40mm of rain per hour, beyond the ability of drains to cope.

The second reason was there were now more homes, buildings and roads.

He said that in city there were 44,000 drains.

“We have been building the drainage system for four years and we must spend eight more years building it,” he said. “We planned for 3,000 more drains in the city to avoid flooding. Some areas have serious floods but they go down quickly.”

The department also posted on its Facebook page that the reason for serious flooding at Street 2004 in Meanchey district, which was much criticised on Facebook, was that families had blocked the canal by dropping a lot of rubbish into it.

Ee Sarom, executive director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut, said it was not only rubbish problems which brought flooding to the city and caused residents to complain.

He said the late architect Vann Molyvann had identified problems with the Beong Kak canal and with big lakes in the city which caused floods.

Facebook critics said the city flooded after it had been raining for only a short time. They said that in some areas the flooding was deep which showed that authorities lacked techniques to build drainage systems.

The Meteorology Ministry says that flooding could continue in Phnom Penh and provinces such as Kampong Speu, Kandal and Takeo until tomorrow as a low pressure system brings more rain.

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