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Slum improvements planned

Civil society groups and Phnom Penh municipal officials next month will hold a workshop to decide which designated slum areas will be the focus of a planned pilot project to improve living standards.

On Tuesday night, Phnom Penh governor Pa Socheatavong and members of civil society groups including the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and Samakum Theangtnout (STT) met at City Hall, where they began talks on which 17 of Phnom Penh’s 400 designated poor areas need most improvement, City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said.

“We want to determine whether City Hall can help with issues such as roads, sewage systems and hygiene; and what the civil society group can help,” Dimanche told the Post yesterday.

The 17 communities included in the project will likely include the Boeung Kak lake and Borei Keila communities, both of which have faced mass evictions, said Vann Sophath, project coordinator for land reform projects at CCHR.

After Tuesday night’s meeting, Sophath said the project will likely be further discussed at a workshop in February or early March by municipal officials, community representatives, local authorities and stakeholders in the private sector.

While City Hall seems to be taking a step in the right direction, their actions remain to be seen, Sophath said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SEAN TEEHAN

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