Khouth Sophak Chakrya and Joey Chua Xue Ting
The Phnom Penh Post, Thu, 20 October 2016
More families have been forced to temporarily move and numerous businesses were affected after a still-unpatched leak in the capital’s Prek Thnout dam led to unprecedented flooding along a section of road in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district starting late on Tuesday night.
A 2-kilometre stretch of road along Street 217 – which runs from the south of Spean Thma commune’s Prek Chrey bridge to Roluos commune’s Kuo Srov roundabout – yesterday saw water levels almost knee-deep, prompting a factory located along the road, Y&W Garment Co Ltd, to temporarily close down.
“To prevent any danger befalling our workers and staff – totalling about 2,000 people – our factory on Tuesday declared a temporary holiday until the water recedes,” said Cheab Pichnary, administration assistant of the children’s garment manufacturer.
Several tightly bundled, metre-high bags of scrap cloth from the factory could be seen densely packed in a row to form a barrier stemming the water’s flow into the premises.
“We started building [the barrier] at 11pm [on Tuesday], when the water level started rising, until the sky was bright,” said Wang Xing Shan, a worker at the factory.
According to Pichnary, the factory – which typically produces about 2,000 pieces of clothing per hour – yesterday missed exporting four containers of an overseas shipment.
“Our factory is suffering a loss of $40,000 to $50,000 per day, and we will lose even more if the flooding continues,” she said.
Business, meanwhile, was dismal at a stall selling local dishes opposite the factory.
“Our business depends on the factory workers,” stall vendor Roth Sreymom, 18, said. “If the workers do not work, we won’t be able to sell food, too. We will lose our income if the workers have a long holiday.”
According to an updated report released yesterday by the National Committee for Disaster Management, flooding has so far affected a total of 850 families in all of Dangkor district, 250 of which have been evacuated.
“The water is knee-deep now,” said 32-year-old Sovesna, a resident who lives along the road, but was forced to temporarily relocate. “My family and I decided to pack our stuff to stay at our relatives’ house for a while to avoid any unexpected accidents such as electric shock.”
Dangkor district governor Nut Puthdara yesterday said traffic along the road will be temporarily halted to “reduce road damage”, and called for public patience and cooperation.