Thursday, May 13, 2010

Head in the Sand?

Global Witness reports and, needless to say, lambastes the Cambodian government for the export of an estimated 796,000 mt of sand per year to Singapore. GW fears a long-term negative impact on the environment and the livelihood of locals. I am sure this is true if that figure of 796,000 mt were a nearly accurate estimate. This number would translate into 25,677 mt per day. This is an enormous amount of sand, not to mention weight since the sand is still wet.

Now I know there are several dredging boats at work in Koh Kong. If they operated 24/7 they would dredge about 1,070 mt/hour. This number seems very high and I am wondering whether they based their report on actual on-site observation, measurements, and shipping data. Depending on the size of the vessels this volume would translate into a veritable shuttle with about 10 vessels leaving every day. Somehow, I tend to believe they maybe misplaced a comma?

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