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Cash payout clears road in Kampot

A community of fishermen in Kampot province whose homes had been blocking the construction of a road to a nearby beach accepted an offer yesterday to move elsewhere.

Local authorities descended on Tvea village on Wednesday evening, accusing the 21 families of living there illegally, and ordering them to move.

“We needed $6,000 per family to move but the authority offered us only $2,000”, said resident Ren Chan Da.

But, Chan Da said, a deal was reached during a meeting yesterday, when officials upped their offer to $3,000 per household.

Chan Sothea, another Tvea village resident, said the families accepted the deal because they were “afraid of violence” if they refused.

“It is lucky for us that the authority decided to pay us any compensation, because they accuse us of living on the public road illegally, even though we have lived here for more than 20 years,” he added.

Kampot town Governor Nak Sovan said the $3,000 was not compensation but an “act of generosity”.

“They live there illegally, and we need to develop the street,” he said.

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