Polluted Water in Sangke River Found to Be Liquid Waste from a Factory

Polluted Water in Sangke River Found to Be Liquid Waste from a Factory

PHNOM PENH — The Battambang Provincial Administration said on Aug. 4 that, following two days of investigation, the source of polluted water that had flown in the Sangke River was identified as liquid waste released by a factory. The administration did not reveal the factory’s name. 

The investigation along that section of the river was initiated when photos of dead fish said to have died due to the polluted water started to circulate, sparking concern among people, including social media users. 

Provincial Environment Department Director Kort Boran said that, at first, he thought the leak was due to the coal waste of the factories that use coal as the leak might have been caused by the heavy rains of the last few days. 

The team kept investigating and testing the water to determine the degree of pollution in order to inform the public.  

In its announcement on Aug. 4, the provincial administration said that the water in the Sangke River was no longer polluted, that its water quality had returned to its normal state and would cause no harm to people’s health. 

The factory owner(s) signed a document to the effect that liquid wastes, chemical wastes, and/or solid waste will no longer be dumped in the river, the administration indicated. Otherwise, the owner(s) will face legal action. 

The administration also requested that the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation suspend the factory’s processing. However, the suspension duration was not clarified. 

Provincial Governor Sok Lu and Kort Boran both denied on the same day that dead fish had been found in the Sangke River, fish that would have died due to the lead content in the chemical-substance pollution coming from a factory in Ratanak Mondul district in Battambang Province. 

Lu said that the news shared widely about the dead fishes was false and meant to make people concerned. 

“We are investigating that black polluted water matter,” he said. “I ordered the team to inspect the location for two days, and there was no dead fish found like the news had stated.

“Seeing the photos, I don’t know where those edited photos are from… Those photos did not show the real situation of the Sangke River,” Lu added.  

Although the polluted area has returned to its normal state, the provincial administration has requested that the Ministry of Environment and other relevant ministries conduct an environmental evaluation again to make sure there is no harm to people’s health, the administration said. 

Related Articles