Sand piled high at the Pasir Panjang Container terminal project, as at 4 Nov 09.
Sand dredging in a province of Cambodia is expected to impact "around 1,000 people" in the communes there, said a representative. The sand is intended for export to Singapore and extraction had resulted in riverbank collapses. "We are concerned about the collapse of the riverbank and declines in our fish and crab catches".
Although Prime Minister Hun Sen banned sand exports in May and July this year due to the adverse environmental effects, the operations in this province continues and operations was ramped up in the past 10 days. Apparently, the operations is owned by a high-ranking official in the Ministry of Defence and an official dispensation was granted to continue operations last month "in order to relieve flooding in the town".
The situation bears a striking resemblance to that in another provice, where a Hong Kong-based company was extracting thousands of tonnes of sand per week from the province’s coastal estuaries, also for export to Singapore. The operations have also provoked the ire of local fishermen, who held a series of protests last month demanding a halt to the dredging. Permission was also granted for to continue sand extraction to prevent flooding in the provincial town. "These people have depended on fishing for many generations. Pumping out the sand is extremely detrimental to their livelihoods" said a representative there.
Meanwhile in Vietnam, sand barges are held in port due to uncertainty about implementation of sand export rules. Some of the sand is from dredging works allowed by many provinces, and the sand dredging companies were counting on selling the sand as compensation.
According to the report "This sand is not used in construction. It is exported, mainly to Singapore, to serve sea encroachment projects."
Update: on 20 Nov 09 it was reported that the Vietnamese authorities allowed exports of sand to continue until Jun 2010.
Full articles on the wildsingapore news blog:
- Dredging operations descend on Kampot, Cambodia Vong Sokheng and Sebastian Strangio Phnom Penh Post 11 Nov 09;
- Vietnam sand exporters hit by new laws Vietnamnet.com 11 Nov 09;
- Sand exports from Vietnam extended until Jun 2010 VietNamNet Bridge 20 Nov 09;
- Sand mining near Kusu Island Oct 09 to Feb 10
- Vietnam halts sand export to Singapore
- Sand mining off Kusu Island Aug-Dec 09
- Surge in Vietnam sand exported to Singapore
- Sand mining in Vietnam to be regulated
- Cambodia bans sand exports due to environmental impact of dredging
- Sand for Singapore taken from Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary?
- Sand mining on Changi East
- Singapore's sandy footprint
- Cambodian villagers call for sand dredging halt Cheang Sokha and Sebastian Strangio Phnom Penh Post 21 Oct 09;
- Singapore's sand shortage The Economist 8 Oct 09;
- Vietnam minister seeks ban on sand exports Business Times 17 Sep 09;
- Call to probe sand transfer from Thailand to Singapore Apinya Wipatayotin, The Bangkok Post 17 Sep 09;
- Illegal sand dredging in the Mekong Delta investigated Vietnam News 9 Sep 09;
- Vietnam to investigate booming sand exports thanhniennews.com 25 Aug 09;
- River sand is Vietnam's latest endangered resource monstersandcritics.com 31 Aug 09;
- Sand dredging "a problem on all the Vietnam’s largest rivers": Vietnam’s rivers call for help VietNamNet Bridge 28 Aug 09;
- More media articles on sand exports to Singapore on the wildsingapore news blog.