Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers refuse $500 compensation for damaged houses

Villagers refuse $500 compensation for damaged houses

Villagers refuse $500 compensation for damaged houses

121204_06

Residents of the Svay Pak commune, in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district, watch helplessly as their houses slump toward collapsing into the Tonle Sap river because of nearby dredging. Photograph: Mai Vireak/Phnom Penh Post

Local authorities in the capital’s Russey Keo district had offered residents living along the banks of the Tonle Sap $500 compensation in the wake of sand dredging that began a week ago and has already caused structural damage to their homes, villagers told the Post yesterday.

Twenty-two families in Svay Pak commune’s Svay Pak village filed a complaint to the Russey Keo district hall yesterday after foundation pillars in a number of houses broke because of what they allege is shifting terrain caused by the dredging.

The dredging began on November 25, resident Pum Laot, 58, said.

But villagers were not warned of the activities, nor have they been given any information about the company involved, despite asking authorities.

Most of the workers spoke Vietnamese, Laot said.

Local authorities had offered the 22 worst-affected families in the area $500 per family to vacate the area, he said.

“A few families’ pillars have started breaking since the sand dredging began. We have started to fear it and are concerned about it. The authorities did not inform us who is dredging the sand, so we hurried to file a complaint with the authorities.”

Laot said five families had so far agreed to the cash settlement, but 17 had refused the deal.

Resident Hon Sotheary, 30, said that as well as structural damage, she was worried about her personal health and safety.

“They pay us $500 for each family – it is such a little. How can we buy land or a house or another place to live?

“We spent a lot of money to build our house. Some of [the other residents] borrowed money to build. It is not acceptable. Now we are concerned about losing our house to the river.”

Chea Pisey, deputy governor of Russey Keo district, said he had not yet received the filed complaint. Without commenting in detail, he said  local authorities would examine it once it was filed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sen David at [email protected]

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all