Authorities in Preah Sihanouk province yesterday granted land titles to 69 families in the protected forest around the popular Kbal Chhay waterfall, allowing them to live there legally in accordance with a sub-decree issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen last month.
Provincial Governor Yun Min said the families would no longer be illegally occupying the land after they came to an agreement with the authorities. “There were 69 families who agreed to get their land by voting [yes] to the size of 5-by-20 metres for each family,” Min said.
He added that the remaining families who rejected the offer could also accept it later if they changed their minds.
One of the villagers whose family accepted the deal, Nou Samaly, said that many families approved the offer because they no longer wanted to face eviction threats. “We accepted the size because we do not want any more problems,” she said.
On Sunday, dozens of residents living around the Kbal Chhay waterfall blocked National Road 4 in protest of being relocated to a new site that they said was too small.