Budget Shortfall Hits Chum Kriel Village Road Repairs

Villagers complain of potholes and slippery surfaces

KAMPOT--Residents in Chum Kriel village in Kampot province have urged authorities to repair potholed roads that fill with mud in in the rainy season, however the village chief says there is no money.

Villager Chan Sarun said the roads were so damaged they were difficult to travel on.

It was even harder during this rainy season because the roads were slippery in places while some were flooded and muddy.

He said he wanted the authorities to build a concrete road instead of repairing the damaged road every year.

Another villager Nget Sreyka complained about how hard it was traveling during and after the rain.

“Traveling on the road is very difficult because some roads have been damaged,” Sreyka said. “If it rains, it is even more difficult because the road becomes slippery.”

Sreyka said the road condition this year was no different from last year, adding that the authorities had not repaired the damage and should begin soon.

“This road repair will bring many benefits to villagers and myself,” said Sreyka. “Good roads provide convenient transportation without fear of accidents.”

Village chief Touch Bunleang agreed that the roads were damaged and full of potholes. During the rainy season, travelers could not drive at high speed because the slippery road could cause accidents.

He said the roads were often damaged due to lack of drainage and the relentless driving of big trucks and villagers.

Bunleang said he wanted to have a good and convenient road for villagers but he had not received the budget for road repairs from the government. He would normally get this in June or July.

“It would not be a problem if the budget is given every year, but I’m afraid that there will be none,” Bunleang said. “This year, I haven’t received the budget, so nothing can be repaired. Plus, Covid-19 is spreading.”

There are three roads in Chum Kriel village, one of which is concrete, four meters wide and 900 meters long. The other two are dirt roads with a total length of more than 1,900 meters, Bunleang said.

Each year, Chum Kriel village receives $10,000 for repairing and maintaining the concrete road and $500 for repairing the dirt roads.

Village authorities used to raise funds from villagers to build and repair the roads but the fund was not enough because villagers were also struggling. Bunleang said that most of the villagers were workers in the salt fields and construction, while a small number were civil servants and company employees.

He said he had asked earth-moving trucking companies to fill the potholes with soil.

Bunleang urged villagers to fill the potholes in front of their houses and maintain the roads together for the collective benefit of the village.

“Villagers must help maintain the roads and cutting down the bush that grows near the roads because it can damage the roads. We should also drain stagnant water out of the roads,” he said.

By Noeun Channet and Teng Yalirozy

*The story was produced with funding from the European Union and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through Transparency International Cambodia and ActionAid Cambodia. 

Related Articles