Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Drains to displace PP families

Drains to displace PP families

Drains to displace PP families

A resident of a community in Dangkor district slated for eviction stands near her doorway, next to which officials on Sunday spray-painted a warning telling her to move.

VILLAGERS in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district say they have been given 15 days to dismantle their homes to make way for the construction of a new flood-prevention system, but say they have received no information about whether they will be compensated.

In Saroun, a representative from Chamkar Ovlek village, said 20 families received a letter from authorities on Sunday ordering them to destroy parts of their homes, but that Kakab commune authorities gave no advance warning about the planned drainage system.

“We are not against the state’s development project, but they should pay us compensation because we did not take over state land anarchically – I bought my house from somebody else,” he said.

On Sunday, officials sprayed red paint on walls, marking them for destruction. In some cases, they covered entire houses.

“If they want us to move, they should come and negotiate with us for compensation according to market prices, not release eviction letters without telling us about compensation,” In Saroun said.

Another villager, Nhar Nary, said she had been told nothing about compensation.

“My land measures 10 metres by 24 metres, and about 5 metres of it is affected, which means I will lose between four and five rooms. But I was only told about tearing down this part of my house – they said nothing about compensation,” she said.

“Now land in Phnom Penh is very expensive. I can’t give it to the state for free. They should pay us to tear down our house and pay us for our land.”

Luok Luon, the chief of Chamkar Ovlek village, said he recognised that authorities had not consulted villagers but that the project was urgent and had been ordered by high-level officials, adding that it is likely more people will be affected.

“There are about 50 families whose houses will be affected when we start expanding the drainage system to protect Choam Chao commune, Phnom Penh International Airport and Sen Sok district from floods,” he said.

Kakab commune Chief Sok El said a much smaller number of people would be affected by the project, which will double the size of the existing drain.

“Expanding the drainage system will affect about 10 families, and most of them are renting,” he said.

“There are a few people who are unhappy with our project, but most people are [happy] because this area always floods during the rainy season.”

According to a survey undertaken by local rights group Adhoc, 74 communities around Phnom Penh have been marked for eviction, potentially affecting tens of thousands of people.

Adhoc researcher Chan Soveth said forced evictions affect “children’s rights, human rights and property rights”, adding that authorities should offer compensation before they threaten to evict people.

Sok El said that the issue of compensation was not the commune’s responsibility, and that villages that did not comply with the orders would be subject to “administrative measures”.

“We don’t know about providing compensation because it’s a City Hall project. If they want to get any compensation they should ask City Hall,” he said.

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun could not be reached for comment on Monday.


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release