Those planning on travelling to Cambodia’s Koh Rong, might be best advised to make sure that their Hepatitis B vaccination is up to date first, putrid raw sewage pouring unchecked into the water at Koh Toch, the island’s main tourist area.
Less than a month after Cambodian environmental campaigners Mother Nature published a video showing Sihanoukville’s Independence Beach awash with sewage, the group has released fresh video of the environmental damage being caused through unchecked development and weak enforcement on Cambodia’s so-called ‘paradise island’, Koh Rong.
In the video dank, black water is seen being discharged from a large pipe which Mother Nature says is located under the Koh Toch pier. Water taken from the pipe and tested at Phnom Penh’s Pasteur Institute, they say, reported high levels of the parasites Trichomonas intestinalis trophozoite, strongloides stercoralis larva, and diphyllobthrium latum eggs.
Similar to the water sample taken from Sihanoukville’s Independence Beach last month, this latest test reportedly also found escherichia coli (e.coli) “too numerous that the enumeration was not possible”. AEC News Today was not able to independently verify the source of the water that the reports relate to.
The latest video comes despite Cambodia’s Prime Minister Prime Minister Hun Sen ordering last December that “we must ensure that all the polluted water will not flow into our sea”.
The video take s a clear shot at Cambodian Minister of Environment Say Samal, the presenter saying that he” appears unaware of his role and responsibility to solve this problem. How long he is (sic) wants to let this problem fester, perhaps until the whole of Cambodia’s sea has been ruined?” An email sent to the Cambodia Ministry of Environment by AEC News Today was not responded to.
On March 13 provincial authorities in Sihanoukville ordered the Jin Ding Hotel and Casino on Koh Rong Somlem closed following complaints from residents and inspections by authorities into raw sewage being discharged into the sea.
Last December the government announced plans to build four water treatment plants in Sihanoukville province, one each at Independence Beach, Sokha’s company, O’Samart, and O’chheuteal Beach, with major hotel developments in Sihanoukville said to be contributing some $3.1 million of the cost.
In the last couple of years Sihanoukville and the surrounding area has undergone rapid urban development, mostly by Chinese firms.
In addition to towering condominiums, office blocks and commercial sites, more than 88 licenced and unlicensed casinos predominantly catering to Chinese customers have sprung up. Macau, long regarded as one of the world’s great gambling destinations, has just 41.
Feature video Mother Nature Cambodia
- Sihanoukville water treatment plants ‘set for testing’ (The Phnom Penh Post)
- Sihanoukville: A Cambodian City Losing Its ‘Cambodian-ness’ (The Diplomat)
- Environmental NGO Urges Closure of Chinese Hotel ‘Spewing Raw Sewage’ on Cambodian Resort Island (Radio Free Asia)