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Eco-village opens to first 53 families

Eco-village opens to first 53 families

Siem Reap Province
A GROUP of 53 families is set to move into Cambodia’s first eco-village in Siem Reap province after officials held a lottery yesterday to grant them plots of land.

The Run Ta-Ek village project, which encompasses 1,012 hectares of land 33 kilometres outside Siem Reap town, was set up by the Apsara Authority, which administers the Angkor temple complex, in an effort to limit the amount of housing within the temple park and along the Siem Reap River.

“This village is reserved for villagers from Angkor Park whom officials have banned from leaving their families after marriage to construct new houses,” Bun Narith, director general of the Apsara Authority, said at the ceremony.

During the ceremony, all of the families, who live in Protected Zones 1 and 2 inside the Angkor Park and along the Siem Reap riverside, were granted plots of land as well as wood and other construction materials to build homes on it.

Bun Narith said Run Ta-Ek would eventually be divided into six villages with a total capacity of 850 families, and that it would be furnished with infrastructure including schools and health centres.

He said six solar panels would be installed by officials next month to provide the village with electricity.

Mon Chin, a 61-year-old villager from Nokor Thom commune inside the temple park, said he had decided to register for the eco-village project because his current plot of land was small.

“I have driven a tuk-tuk for a long time, and if I settle [in the new village] I can still do my job, and also grow crops,” he said.

Chhieu Nam, deputy director of the Apsara Authority’s Agricultural Development and Community Department, said the new residents would not get land titles until they had lived at the site for five years.

Officials did not say when more families would be moved to the village.