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Canal restoration planned to prevent seasonal floods

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Officials inspect the restoration of Tuol Pongro Canal in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district in June. Photo supplied

Canal restoration planned to prevent seasonal floods

The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration is studying the capital’s sewage and drainage systems in some districts in order to develop a strategy to prevent possible flooding during the rainy season. The municipal hall is also going to build a new pumping station in Tuol Pongro village of Por Sen Chey district’s Chom Chao II commune.

Municipal hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey said the construction of the new pumping station in Tuol Pongro is part of a strategy to improve their ability to divert water and that it is being undertaken in tandem with preparations to dig out and restore canals.

Sam Piseth, director of the municipal Department of Public Works and Transport, said that in addition to the new Tuol Pongro pumping station, plans are in place to install a corner drain 8m wide where necessary as well.

“This Tuol Pongro pumping station has three pumps that can release water into Tuol Pongro, Trapeang Phleung and the surrounding areas. The station is expected to open at the end of this month but work will be ongoing and is scheduled for completion in August 2021, if funding permits,” he confirmed.

According to Piseth, besides the Tuol Pongro pumping station construction project, it is necessary to restore the Tuol Pongro 1 concrete canal which has a width of 8m and a length of more than 4,500m.

Chun Na, a resident of Chom Chao II commune’s Prey Lvea village, was happy to learn that the authorities were planning to build a new pumping station in Tuol Pongro and restore the canals.

However, he said this will not eliminate the problem of flooding entirely because some of it is due to the way the roads are constructed.

“If there is excavation of the canal then it can be reduced a lot with a pumping station, but much will still be submerged because the road here is at its lowest level,” he said.

According to Chun Na, when the rainy season arrives, there is always flooding from Chrey Kong road to Prey Lvea village, and the flooding goes on for so long that it becomes difficult to travel or do business.

“The floods last for two to three months. It rained for a month straight and flooded too much, and my children had trouble getting to school. I sold all of my cars because you couldn’t even drive through it,” he said.

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