Hundreds of evicted Borei Keila residents living at a relocation site in Kandal province are suffering from diarrhoea, skin ailments and fever after consecutive days of rain, an NGO doctor said yesterday.
Heng Chivoan /Phnom Penh Post
Living conditions of evicted Borei Keila children at Ponhear Leu district’s Srah Po village.
Dr Nhean Sarin, a medical officer with rights group Licadho, told the Post yesterday that Borei Keila residents relocated to Ponhear Leu district’s Srah Po village in early January were also at more risk of catching malaria and cholera.
“The raining over a few consecutive days caused them to develop fever, chills and diarrhoea due to them having inadequate sleep because their plastic, no-wall tents cannot stand the rain,” he said, adding that many were also suffering from a shortage of food.
“We have deep empathy for these people after seeing them shaking with blankets, mosquito nets and clothes on their wet bodies.”
Hul Srey Neang, 23, who was evicted from Borei Keila and moved to the relocation site, told the Post yesterday that she had developed a urinary infection after drinking and using water from a pumping well that development firm Phan Imex had built for residents.
“The medical staff from Licadho said they would pay for me to seek treatment at Cambodian-Russian Friendship Hospital, but I cannot leave because the company has not measured land for me yet,” she said.
Another resident, Ros Sokhea, 29, is suffering from similar complaints after drinking the same water.
“I don’t know what liquid is in the well, but when I used it for drinking and cooking food it made my stomach ache and I got diarrhoea, and I am itchy when I take a bath,” she said.
Touch Khorn, 49, a representative of the evicted Borei Keila residents, said water in the pumping well was contaminated and the residents didn’t have a clean-water tank as an alternative.
The site is full of flies, mosquitoes and without a toilet, causing villagers to “defecate anywhere, which makes the environment at the site worse and worse”, he said.
Touch Khorn said that officials from Licadho, Adhoc and the United Nations visit to check resident’s health every three days and provide food, water and some medicines.
“We are facing many difficulties because we don’t have suitable houses and enough food,” he said. “Eleven families with HIV/AIDs are living hard lives because they lack medicines and are constantly exposed to hot weather.”
Dr Nhean Sarin, said he and other officials had brought some medicines, noodles, rice, fish sauce and oil for residents and had treated 79 people.
Phan Imex company owner Suy Sophan could not be reached for comment.