It is indeed a pleasure for me together with senior ministers, ministers, secretaries of state and members of parliament, the Senate, Governors and Deputy Governors of Phnom Penh and related institutions to meet with our people here in Sak Sampeo of Dangkao district. I was wrong that the dam could be strong and would not be affected by any flood. But it turns out that the dam is damaged. But as you know in the last few days we have all the provinces bordering on with the sea – Koh Kong, Sihanoukville, Kompot and Kep, and then Kompong Speu had all been affected by flash flood. As far as area inside the country is concerned we also have Kompong Thom, a part of Pursath and Battambang affected as well. The provinces of Kratie, Stoeungtreng have all been affected by seasonal flooding. What is to be ashamed of is to have this dam was broken!
Damages have been taken place but no life has been taken. The areas of Kompong Speu’s Chbar Mon, Aoral, Samraong Torng and Phnom Sruoch have been quite safe… The local authorities with helps from the armed forces’ rescue boats have been operating along the national road 4. HE Governor of the Phnom Penh city has outlined a number of measures including cutting wide open the road that is not under construction yet. I accept to let that be done but quick discussion must be done with Minister for Water Resources and Meteorology. Immediate measures must be taken to avert the destruction of rice of our people in this area. Quick release of flood water would save our people’s livelihood and their rice. Last year I ordered in the same purpose to cut wide open the national road 2 at Prek Ataing and two places along the national road 1.
My trip here was at the flood diversion dam along the river. People here never beg me for rice but they beg me for a strong dam. People along the dam request the same thing. It means people know the importance of infrastructure. As far as the Sak Sampeo dam is concerned it is now 15 years as I once returned from a meeting in Pattaya’s Supreme National Council (SNC) there was a flood in the west of Phnom Penh and I was requested by our people here to build a dam. Floods overflowed the dam once in 1995, again in1998, again in 2000, and again in 2003. Now it is damaged again in 2006. The soil here does not stick together and the cost of building this dam is very expensive. But this place is economically active because of many huge factories nearby and more to be built in the area I would order a provisional fixing of the dam. At the start of the dry season we commence the construction of road from Prek Thloeung to the national road 3 using the Kob Srov’s dam standard.
The dam is to be reinforced into both a dam and a road with asphalt and named it the “7 Makara” or 7 January because it is a part of the road connecting from the 7 Makara water dam. The road is to be built by the Ministry of Water Resources because it is to do with water here. We need a sum of 20 billion Rield or 5 million dollars or five tons of gold. We have at least five water gates. The construction would start immediately when there is this wind from the north (December or January). I hope my decision today would make our people in this area free from dam breaking when floods take place.
The number of equipments that we have is sufficient for working on a road length of 17.2 kilometers. In completing this road we have two benefits – first we could divert the flow of flood from the western side of Phnom Penh to outside Phnom Penh city, and second, we have a road connection for those who need to commute to Ta Khmao town of Kandal province from the western side of Phnom Penh without having to go through the city as the traffic is so often jammed. They said we have been making this country poorer and poorer and the fact has showed that we have more cars than the road could afford the traffics and those who say we make the country poorer are also driving their cars on these roads. In the future the area would become an economic zone inside Phnom Penh. The road would be a benefit not only for those in Sak Sampeo but many communes along the Prek Thnaot, probably except the Proteah Lang commune. What I am saying today is indeed the announcement of the construction project and the project will start as soon as the weather allows.
I would not use the country’s money to build the office of the Council of Ministers – a place where I work but I have the commune office building very nice here and elsewhere. The Municipality of Phnom Penh could think about providing its counterpart fund. According to my estimation we should complete this road by 2007 and for the dam we could finish it before the next flood time. This road should be done in the time of Hun Sen. Many roads were affected by flood – in Preah Vihear and in Kompong Thom and there need to have more money to fix them up. All broken parts of dam will be fixed except the part in Sak Sampeo which will be asphalted too. I would urge the Phnom Penh Municipality to discuss with HE Lim Kean Hor of the Water Resources Ministry as to which part is to be fixed first.
The dam’s bottom would have to be 19 meters wide, whereas the top width would be 9 meters in which 7 meters will be asphalted. I would urge participation from every household here because if one household disagrees I would not order a go-ahead. As long as Hun Sen is here Hun Sen will continue to think about the poor. Without Hun Sen I do not know who would care this much on this thing for you. Different Prime Ministers mean different area of focus and attention. I was born into a farmer’s family which allows me to know full well difficulty of the poor. I do not have a second homeland as other people. On August 20, 2006, a political party was proclaimed with a candidate for Prime Minister’s position. I am happy they announced to challenge for vote in 2008 elections. I would urge more to show up. I would welcome everyone – young or old – in the race. I have to finish the road by 2007 and this should not be seen for the race’s favor. I wanted it done so that I do not have to come back in August 2007. HE Chan Sarun must look for alternative bed for rice seedling and get ready for them whenever they need. The Cambodian Red Cross as far as I know would be doing something very soon too./.