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SEZ polluting Bavet canal, villagers say

Villagers living along a canal in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet town say its water has been polluted by untreated discharge from the nearby Manhattan Special Economic Zone (SEZ), rendering it unusable.

Three communes live along the Tapov canal – Bati, Prasat and Bavet – with villagers from the first two saying that they have complained about the pollution since 2015 and that the quality of the water has continued to decline and the smell is unbearable.

By Kong Meta and Ananth Baliga

Bavet, Cambodia, August 8, 2016

Phnom Penh Post

Villagers living along a canal in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet town say its water has been polluted by untreated discharge from the nearby Manhattan Special Economic Zone (SEZ), rendering it unusable.

Three communes live along the Tapov canal – Bati, Prasat and Bavet – with villagers from the first two saying that they have complained about the pollution since 2015 and that the quality of the water has continued to decline and the smell is unbearable.

Bati’s commune chief, Chan Sarun, said the villagers had complained to him multiple times, and while Manhattan SEZ administrators said they would build a water treatment facility he was yet to see any improvement.

“We know of cows that have died after drinking the dirty water and we can no longer find fish in the water,” he said, adding that many villagers have left the area because the smell was too noxious.

Read more at Phnom Penh Post

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