Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday 700 volunteers from the Cambodian People’s Party had fanned out across eight provinces to measure properties and provide titles to villagers who have been displaced by land disputes.
Speaking to about 10,000 villagers in the Kroch Chhmar district of Kampong Cham province, the premier said that 700 out of a total 1,100 volunteer youth were already deployed at Kampong Cham, Kratie, Rattanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Kampot, Banteay Meanchey and Battambang provinces in cooperation with local authorities.
“[Their] obligation this time is to resolve problems [villagers have been having while living] on the state land, including forestry concession, economic land concession and the state land where the villages were illegally occupied,” said Hun Sen. “I will hand over land certificates for the villagers after the process is done in order to ensure that villagers have legal rights to own the land.”
He also appealed to villagers to cooperate with each other in the demarcation process in order to facilitate a smoother back and forth with local authorities who will ultimately provide the legal documents.
Im Chhun Lim, the Minister of Land Management told the volunteers at the end of last week that an estimated 350,000 families were living on about 1.2 million hectares of state land.
“The government has a clear policy, and it will resolve the problems for villagers so that they will have appropriate legal documents for the land, and furthermore, it will stop new encroachment on state land,” Chhun Lim said.
Hun Sen was in Kampong Cham to mark National Fish Day, which he and senior officials did by releasing about 500,000 baby fish and 100,000 baby lobsters into a reservoir in Kroch Chhmar district.
On March 8 of this year, the premier announced the closure of 35 commercial fishing lots around the Tonle Sap Lake, citing illegal over-fishing.
“This is the final fishery reform and the number of fish has been increasing after the closure of fish lots,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]