Kampong Thom (FN), Mar. 9 – Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen denied the initiative of closing the Tonle Sap waterway to prevent water flow into the Mekong River in the dry season, adding that this idea will affect citizens' navigation.

The premier spoke at the opening ceremony of the 7th River Festival held on Thursday (Mar. 9) at Stung Sen Park in Kampong Thom Province.

The premier recalled three interesting initiatives related to the Tonle Sap.

First, Samdech said that when Nam Tum was the governor of Kampong Thom province, a scholar mentioned the initiative of restoring the Tonle Sap Lake. Samdech pointed out, of course, the Tonle Sap and its lakes are becoming shallower, but Cambodia does not have the financial resources to restore them.

Second, Samdech continued that before 2008, a former lawmaker of FUNCINPEC from Kampong Thom province requested Samdech to approve a project to install bamboo filters across the Tonle Sap River to reduce the water flow from the Tonle Sap to the Mekong River. However, the request was rejected as it would block the navigation of citizens.

Third, Samdech pointed out that another initiative is to build a dam in the Tonle Sap. Unfortunately, Samdech also rejected that initiative as it would affect the citizens' navigation.