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Angry Boeung Kak residents say water supplies have been cut

Residents living under threat of eviction say their lives got even more difficult when their supply of running water was turned off last month

BOEUNG Kak residents living in Village 2 on the edge of the capital's rapidly-shrinking lake have complained that their water supply was abruptly cut off last month. 

"It seems like a threat to villagers to make them leave Boeung Kak," said Pech Sokna, 51, a representative for Village 2 residents.

"I do not know what the reason behind the cutting of our water supply is," she said, adding that the village has 296 families living both on land and on the lake itself.

"The water supply has been cut from only residents' houses on the lake, which is more than 100 families," she said.

The development of Boeung Kak by locally owned private company Shukaku Inc started on August 26 when the sand dredging company HSC began filling the lake.

 This is the first stage of a 133-hectare commercial and housing project that will see over 4,000 lakeside families evicted from their homes.

Leave the area

The municipality has been offering cash or replacement housing and money to those who have agreed to leave the site, but still many residents  are fighting against the offer and demanding a legal solution and fair compensation for their homes.

"Our life is very difficult under these conditions, and now our water has been cut off," Pech Sokna said, adding that residents have to buy water from nearby, which is costing them around 4,000 riels (US$1) a day.

Chhay Thirith, Srah Chak commune chief, said he was unaware of the problem at Village 2.

"Water for Boeung Kak residents is supplied by a private firm and not the state," he said, but added that now he was aware of the problem he would look into it. "We are a local authority. We never want to harm people."

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