Land Lost to Sand Dredging

Sand Barges, Mekong. Photo source: ©© Mobyhill


Cambodia has struggled with the environmental cost of sand mining from its rivers, as private businesses get licenses from local government to dig up sand from riverbeds and use it for commercial projects.

Villagers who live along the banks of the Mekong River in Cambodia’s eastern Kampong Cham province, say that the land on which their houses are built is collapsing into the river because of the dredging.

Cambodia has grappled with the environmental cost of sand dredging for years.

A 2010 report from the U.K. and U.S. based environmental group Global Witness estimated that some some 796,000 tons of sand per month were dug up in Koh Kong province alone, including in protected wildlife areas…

Read Full Article, RFA

Sand For Sale: Environment Ravages, Denis D. Gray
Round a bend in Cambodia’s Tatai River and the virtual silence of a tropical idyll turns suddenly into an industrial nightmare. Lush jungle hills give way to a flotilla of dredgers operating 24 hours a day, scooping up sand and piling it onto ocean-bound barges. The churned-up waters and fuel discharges, villagers say, have decimated the fish so vital to their livelihoods. Riverbanks are beginning to collapse, and the din and pollution are killing a promising ecotourism industry…