Deep in rural Cambodia, Chan Vanna pushes his longtail boat through the calm waters of the Koh Kong estuary. Until about 10 years ago, Vanna made a living fishing here, providing for his wife, Wid, and their seven children. Then one day, he says, giant machines showed up at their small inlet and started dredging sand from the bottom of the river.
“They never discussed with our community,” Vanna says. “They came to dredge and the land fell down. And the water became deep.”
The land “fell down” because the dredging caused the riverbanks to wash away.