REPRESENTATIVES of more than 1,000 families facing eviction from the Boeung Kak lakeside delivered a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet yesterday to request land titles and ask that their properties be spared during the development of a controversial project.
“We are very concerned about becoming homeless due to this development project in the Boeung Kak lake area,” said Ly Mom, 45, a representative from Village 24 in Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune, during a gathering of about 40 lakeside residents outside Wat Botum yesterday. “We want to continue living in our homes.”
Local developer Shukaku Inc, which is headed by Cambodian People’s Party Senator Lao Meng Khin, began filling in the lake in 2008 to make way for a 133-hectare housing and commercial development project. Housing rights advocates say that more than 4,000 families will be displaced by the project.
Ly Mom said that Hun Sen and members of his cabinet should visit communities affected by the project in order to understand how it had already damaged livelihoods and homes and created a chronic flooding problem.
Ky Reth, 50, a representative from Village 1, said that her home and mushroom farm were threatened by the excessive flooding that locals have blamed on the filling in of the lake.
“The company has even banned my family from repairing our home,” she added.
Kong Chamroeun, a representative from the prime minister’s cabinet, said yesterday that he would pass the residents’ petition on to Hun Sen and alert the villagers to his response.
“If the premier makes a decision soon, then in several days I will inform all of you about what he has decided to do,” he told the assembled residents yesterday.