IKTT (Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles), from SiemReap Cambodia
IKTT (Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles), from SiemReap Cambodia

Will PWF be changed to an island?

Will PWF be changed to an islandThere are a lot of rain falls in recent days. It is the squall and the heavy rain falls continue for very long hours. It rained from 8 o'clock in the afternoon until the middle of the night on the day before yesterday. The volume of rainfall was quite a lot. The water level of the PWF swamp was rising.

This rising of water level was attributed not only by the squall but also by damming up the watercourse pouring from the IKTT swamp to the old Angkor period's floodgate ruins since three days ago. Advice by GAP (The Greater Angkor Project) that has been worked primarily by the University of Sydney, they advised that the ruins would be deteriorated by the current of water. So the watercourse pouring to the ruins was intercepted.

Actually the watercourse pouring to the floodgate was naturally formed itself by pouring to lower leveled area according to the water rising of the swamp in 2003. The PWF men built the bridge to cross the watercourse but the construction for this interception dammed up the watercourse also broke the bridge. At all events, we had to make again new watercourse of the swamp, otherwise around the PWF area might be submerged under water.

After I woke up yesterday, I checked around the PWF site first. The bridge that goes to vegetable field across the swamp was submerged, part of the road from entrance of PWF to the craft village was flooded and submerged by ten or more centimeters. The craft village area was also encircled by water. Basically this area was like an island made by Siem Reap River. It could be mentioned the area was just changed back to original form.

The 1/50,000 map made in 1960's showed this area of the craft village was complex formed swamp made by meandering stream of risen river in rainy season. Such situation may be recreated by the heavy rain.

The craft village was exposed to submersion under water if water level goes up higher. So we decided to dig new watercourse through Siem Reap River. I gathered young men early morning and I checked the site together with the village head, Toru. We decided to do civil engineering work that dig the watercourse through Siem Reap River across a mulberry field and beside of a indigo field according to the form of land, from the lowest level planting area of natural forest No.3 area. That plan was the same as my last night idea.

An excavator that was donated by volunteers of Nagano prefecture dig the watercourse and more than a dozen men scooped out surplus soils. After working about three and half hours, fifty centimeters in width, over one meter in depth, and fifty meters in length watercourse was now completed.

Therefore, we can forget about it for a while. We could not dig the level so that the whole water was removed, but the risk of water rising can be avoided. We decided to maintenance the watercourse by men once a week. We will rebuild a bridge cross the swamp a little higher than before, and the flooded road will be rebuilt by placing the stones, piling up soils in order.

It was such a morning that like as an old proverb in China saying a person who can control water, can control the country.

Morimoto Kikuo
Translation by Mr.Takurou MATSUOKA

update : September 9, 2008 7:53 AM

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