Battambang town authorities have notified 600 families living in the provincial capital’s Prek Preah Sdech commune that they need to relocate due to the construction of a large public garden to beautify the city.
According to a letter from town authorities, the residents who live there “illegally” must leave as soon as possible.
Sun Tek, a coordinator for rights group Licadho, said that the government plans to build a 40-by-1,700-metre garden along a street where hundreds of families currently live.
“The residents have built small cottages to live in on this street near the town,” he said.
“They confirmed they have lived there for a long time and so if the authority plans to demolish [their houses], they [need] compensation,” he said.
Sieng Sopheap, a resident, said that she had been living there for more than 20 years.
“How can we live without any compensation?”
Municipal Governor Sieng Em Wounzy said the authorities would find “another place” for the families to live.