A government sub-decree dated February 3 defined 3,200 hectares of Tamoak Lake as state-owned land, sparking eviction fears among residents.
The natural lake, commonly known as Boeung Kob Srov, is the largest reservoir in the Phnom Penh area. It sits northwest of the city and straddles the border with Kandal province.
The decree seeks to counter illegal development that fills the lake, which otherwise supports local farmers and acts as a flood buffer in the rainy season, City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said yesterday.
The announcement states that “all provisions which contradict the above Sub-Decree are considered as null” and orders the Ministries of Interior, Finance, Land Management and Water Resources, as well as the Council of Ministers and City Hall, to implement it.
However, local authorities do not yet know how many families may face eviction once implementation begins.
“At least, in my commune, there are 15 families . . . they might face relocation,” said Kuo Eurn, chief of Kandal province’s Ponhea Poan commune, where part of the lake lies.