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Meanchey home reprieve

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Workers labour yesterday near threatened homes in Meanchey district’s Prek Pra commune.

MEANCHEY district authorities have relented on a demand that 200 lakeside families in the district’s Prek Pra commune dismantle their homes, but have warned residents not to build any further housing at the location.

The villagers had been ordered to dismantle their homes by last Thursday, because local authorities claim they are living on state land and are disrupting the flow of water drainage into Prek Pra lake.

“The order to dismantle the homes came down too quickly, but we have called for the villagers to cooperate with the authorities to restore Prek Pra lake … and avoid flooding in the area,” said Heak Chanleang, Meanchey district’s deputy governor.

“In the future, if the government needs this land for strategic drainage, we will take measures to obtain it,” he added. “For now, we will just prevent villagers from building new homes in the area because they are living on state land.”

Chen Thida, a village representative in Prek Pra commune, said the villagers remained worried that their homes could flood as city officials pump more water into the canal that runs into the lake.

“The authorities haven’t removed our homes, but we are concerned that the homes will collapse as they continue restoring the canal,” she said.

Villagers claim they have lived in the area for the past 20 years.

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