REPRESENTATIVES of 24 families living along a railway line in the Boeung Kak lakeside’s Village 1 said yesterday that Srah Chak commune officials had warned them against repairing their homes, more than two weeks after they were submerged by sand pumped into the area by a development company.
Chan Rithisak said commune authorities had told the families that their building materials would be confiscated if they attempted to repair their homes, and that they should instead “endure” their situation. He said such a suggestion was impossible.
“We can not endure now, we need to rebuild our homes to live in safety,” he said.
Ung Sothy, 63, said she was concerned that her grandchildren could be in danger from electric shocks or dengue fever due to the flooding.
“Currently, we seem to live in a prison, not in a home, because the commune authorities prevent us from rebuilding [our homes],” she said.
Deputy Commune Chief In Sophorn said she had told Shukaku Inc, the company that is developing the lakeside area, to help pump water away from the homes of families in Village 1.
“I think that tomorrow the water will be pumped from their homes,” she said.
She also said that the families – who say they have still not received US$8,500 in relocation compensation that Shukaku Inc had agreed to pay them in 2007 – “should continue to wait”. “I am waiting for a regulation from the Phnom Penh governor,” she said.