Borei Keila evictees sleeping under stairs at the site where their houses were bulldozed in January would die unless more aid organisations provided them with food, an NGO representative said yesterday.
Amnesty International paid for the Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF) to deliver more than 1,200 kilograms of rice to Borei Keila yesterday to feed about 100 families.
Neup Ly, community improvement officer at HRTF, condemned the families’ living conditions.
“We see that they are not only lacking food, but they also do not have sufficient sanitation or medication because of their unsuitable living conditions,” Neup Ly said.
“They sleep under the stairs and close to garbage cans,” he said.
“We think that they will die if they don’t have help from organisation officials.”
A Borei Keila resident, Sok Kheang, 42, said the families continued to live in squalor at the site.
“We are living like animals. We don’t have enough food, and that’s why we need help from charities,” she said.
“I am very happy to receive the rice today, even if it is not much, but it is vital for us to continue our lives and carry on protesting.”
Sok Kheang also pledged to increase the intensity of the community’s protests.
“We plan to hold a big protest after Khmer New Year, and we will keep doing it until we get our houses back. I am not afraid of someone arresting or killing me,” she said.
Two weeks ago, the Borei Keila residents received 120 mosquito nets and hand sanitisers from NGOs Community Legal Education Center, Adhoc, Licadho and the HRTF.
Many of the families’ houses were knocked down by development firm Phan Imex after they refused to be relocated to the outskirts of Phnom Penh or to Kandal province.
Phan Imex agreed in 2004 to construct 10 buildings on two hectares of land at Borei Keila to house 1,776 families, in exchange for development rights to the remaining 2.6 hectares.
The firm has constructed only eight buildings.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at firstname.lastname@example.org