Paris Peace Accords 23 Oct. 1991

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

[Demographic Vietnamization: Tonle Sap, Environmental Destruction, Fishing, Svay Pak, Criminal Elements] Fleeing Sewage, Houseboat Fleet Floats Into Phnom Penh

[Background / related]

The Vietnamization of Kampuchea: A New Model of Colonialism (Indochina Report, October 1984)

Fleeing Sewage, Houseboat Fleet Floats Into Phnom Penh

 The Cambodia Daily | 3 May 2017
Hundreds of floating houses have been snaking down the Tonle Sap river to central Phnom Penh over the past few days, fleeing what one boat owner described on Tuesday as an influx of sewage that killed a massive amount of fish.
“All the fish died, and the water turned smelly and black,” said Mann Ream, 65, who has been farming fish in cages beneath her floating house since 1979, when she relocated to Phnom Penh’s Kilometer 7 neighborhood in Russei Keo district. “It smelled like sewage.”

Black water that smells of sewage flows into the Tonle Sap river 9 km north of downtown Phnom Penh in Svay Pak commune on Tuesday. (Brendan O’Byrne/The Cambodia Daily)

Towed by boats, the flotilla of wooden houses has been slowly making its way along the river since Sunday. As Ms. Ream and dozens of other fish farmers who also live above their stock guided their homes under the Chroy Changva bridge on Tuesday at lunchtime, hundreds of people crowded against the railing and along the riverbanks to watch and take photographs of the unusual sight.
For Ms. Ream, the trip downriver has been a costly inconvenience.
When her fish started dying on Sunday, Ms. Ream could have lost up to 6 million riel, or about $1,500. She saved hundreds of dollars by selling the already-dead fish for a little less than half the price of live fish.
Sewage has killed the farmers’ fish stocks before, and the hundreds of families who farm in the Tonle Sap at Kilometer 7 used to guide their homes downstream once every few years, according to Ms. Ream, who estimated between 200 and 300 floating houses had joined the latest exodus.
But the problem has grown worse in the past three or four years as the capital has expanded and sewage treatment systems have failed to keep pace. In recent years, boat owners have had to move two or three times a year due to fish deaths, sometimes for several days at a time, Ms. Ream said.
According to Taber Hand, a researcher who has studied fisheries on the Tonle Sap and Mekong River for more than 20 years, fish deaths like this are often the result of untreated sewage being pumped into the river.
“The black water sucks out oxygen because of the high biological oxygen demand” of microbes that feed on the sewage, Mr. Hand said. The problem is exacerbated after heavy rains flood the city’s sewage systems, pushing their contents into waterways, he said.
When black water began seeping under her home on Sunday, Ms. Ream suspected the most recent flush of sewage came from 2 km north of the boat’s usual spot, in Svay Pak commune.
Mann Ream squats next to fish cages in the center of her house on the Tonle Sap river in Phnom Penh on Tuesday. (Brendan O’Byrne/The Cambodia Daily)

Reporters who visited the riverbank in Svay Pak on Tuesday saw a stream of black water, about 5 meters wide, that smelled strongly of sewage. It flowed between wooden homes raised on stilts, making its way directly into the Tonle Sap. A pool of black water formed where the stream met the river before it faded into a greenish-blue hue.
[Svay Pak, the epicenter of child trafficking in the Southeast Asian nation. 

["Svay Pak is known around the world as a place where pedophiles come to get little girls," says Brewster, whose organization, Agape International Missions (AIM), has girls as young as four in its care, rescued from traffickers and undergoing rehabilitation in its safehouses....

[Svay Pak, a dusty shantytown on the outskirts of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, is at the heart of this exploitative trade.

[As one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in one of Asia's poorest countries – nearly half the population lives on less than $2 per day -- the poverty in the settlement is overwhelming. The residents are mostly undocumented Vietnamese migrants, many of whom live in ramshackle houseboats on the murky Tonle Sap River, eking out a living farming fish in nets tethered to their homes.]
[See also

Every Day in Cambodia

CNN | 23 March 2014

Mira Sorvino (5:45): Many are sold as virgins by their own parents. As we walked along the dirt road, Don points out a table of men playing cards.  He say they're there every day.

Don Brewster (5:52):  Instead of caring for their family or working, they sit there every day gambling, drinking all day because they traffic kids, including their own.

Mira: Their own?  They traffic their own children?

Don: Others, not just their own. ... They think they're untouchable.

Mira:  Do they even speak English?

Don: No, no.  Most of them speak Vietnamese.

Residents in the area said the stream and sewage smell was a constant in the neighborhood.
“The smell gets worse when it floods in Phnom Penh,” said Sok Pov, 30, sitting on a bench a few hundred meters from the raw sewage. “It’s been going on for three or four years.”
Agriculture Ministry spokesman Lord Reaksmey also laid blame on untreated sewage and suggested City Hall address the problem.
“There should not be bad water flowing into the river,” Mr. Reaksmey said. “Our brothers and sisters use it for drinking and cooking, so City Hall should take measures on that.”
Contacted on Tuesday, a City Hall spokesman told a reporter to call back later and then did not answer his telephone again.
As the city’s sewage system is placed under more and more pressure, fish deaths are likely to worsen, according to Mr. Hand, which is bad news for fish farmers like Ms. Ream.
For now, she said she would take her boat further south to near the Royal Palace, though she didn’t know how long she would have to stay there before being able to return to her home.
“We’ll go back when the water is not poisoned,” she said.


  1. Anonymous8:21 AM

    Why did Ah Kwack Hun sen allow these pest Yuon spread their diseases on Khmer rivers?

    I cannot stand to watch these animal Yuon destroy Khmer properties like that.

    Open your eyer Ah Kaun Mi Roleuy Hun Sen !!

  2. Anonymous9:16 AM

    Give them some land, problem solved. Are you stupid, you want to eat shit? If they live on the river, they will shit into the river. Let them have some land, they will shit onto the land.

    1. Anonymous12:21 PM

      Anonymous 9:16 AM,

      Tell your gov in Hanoi to bring back these Vietnamese home where they should be belonged to.
      Why the stupid gov spent moneys recklessly to erect Khmer-Vietnamese friendship monuments while ignore the real problems of landless Vietnamese folks ???

    2. Anonymous9:13 AM

      CNRP must stop buying the fancy Lexus SUVs and build CNRP-Vietnamese friendship monuments. Then CNRP may win.

  3. Anonymous1:40 PM

    Expansionist Hanoi will never stop planting its hired-hands in Cambodia.
    We must cut off these hands, and prosecute the hands' owners !!! ✊️⚔️☠️