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Kep beach vendors contest their eviction

Kep beach vendors contest their eviction

MORE than 66 Kep food venders

who have stalls along the beachfront have demanded adequate

compensation from an unidentified company that they say is planning to

build a hotel on the land.

The Kep Municipality has put up a sign in

the area indicating that the stretch of land will be developed into a

public garden. But vendors allege the land has been sold to the unnamed

private company, which has already offered them US$2,000 to leave the

area.

According to Chev Sokuntheun, a long-time vendor in the area,

the company is offering them below market rates of compensation. While

vendors have no problem with leaving the area, they are demanding the

company pay each of them $5,000 each in compensation and provide them

all with new food stands not far from the sea.  

"The company has

offered us only $2,000 to permanently leave the area," she said, adding

that most vendors have decided not to take the compensation.

Nget

Mony, who has been selling food along the beach for nearly 15 years,

said the authorities first told the vendors to leave the area in May

and  have now demanded that they move before the Water Festival next

month.

Kep Governor Ha Sare said  the  municipality is currently only conducting research into developing the location.

"We will find a resolution for the vendors if the development impacts on their income," he said.

"We will begin beautifying the area after we settle the problem with the vendors."

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