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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Final HIV families withdraw

Final HIV families withdraw

Horm Oun stands in front of a new home in Tuol Sambo before the Borei Keila residents were moved to the community.

Many Borei Keila residents welcome the change, but evictees already in Tuol Sambo fret over shelters' vulnerability to thieves.

AUTHORITIES on Friday sent the remaining 24 families of Borei Keila's HIV community to Tuol Sambo, a village of sheet-metal houses more than 20 kilometres away.

Many of the families told the Post that they were relieved to leave Borei Keila despite their concerns about Tuol Sambo, where some landlords have refused to rent houses to them.

"I know it is really small and hot, but I can accept that because I did not pay for it. City Hall gave it to me," resident Pheak Kdey Neary said.

"For the first time, I will face a hot environment and have no clean water to use, but it's better than renting a house [in Borei Keila]."

Meanwhile, residents already living in Tuol Sambo say they are increasingly worried about their safety after thieves cut through the zinc walls of one resident's house with a knife.

"I do not feel safe here, because our houses are not strong, and we are newcomers," said resident Chheang Toma.

City Hall says it is aware of the problems at Tuol Sambo and that officials are working to improve the conditions, which Amnesty International called "grossly inadequate" in a press release this month.

"We are trying to find clean water for them," Phnom Penh's Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun said. "They will also no longer face problems getting medicine, because we have given one house to [Centre of] Hope, which has improved the health of the village."

But Gerlinda Lucas, the deputy director of grant management at the Centre of Hope, said the centre had no plans to open a permanent clinic at Tuol Sambo, though it will continue its weekly mobile clinic service.



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