Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Oddar Meanchey residents fight land concessions



Oddar Meanchey residents fight land concessions

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Oddar Meanchey provincial authorities stopped residents from cultivating areas in more than 7,000ha of land in four communes in Samrong and Chongkal district, Oddar Meanchey province as the land will be reforested by a private company. Agriculture Ministry

Oddar Meanchey residents fight land concessions

Oddar Meanchey provincial authorities stopped residents from cultivating areas in more than 7,000ha of land in four communes in Samrong and Chongkal district, Oddar Meanchey province as the land will be reforested by a private company.

Provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director Soth Sisokhean said the land, located in the communes Pongro and Chongkal in Chongkal district and the communes of Samrong and Konkriel in Samrong district, will be reforested in partnership with San Heang Company according to government guidelines.

But he said some residents have been misinformed by individuals about land ownership, and now depend on the land for their livelihoods. Authorities have recently notified them to stop using the land.

“If residents really have no land, they can make a request to local authorities for social land concessions. But we have never allowed residents to take state land. We put up a banner notifying them about the state of the land. But certain individuals make matters complicated and disseminate contradictory information,” he said.

Provincial deputy governor Vat Paranin accused the people of taking land that the company used for planting trees.

He said the location was not granted to them by authorities.

“Some residents have seen that the land looks fertile, so they plant rice and farm there, but they actually encroached on land. We told them to return to the land granted to them, while the state land they encroached on is kept for re-planting trees by [San Heang] company,” he said.

But Kunth Samrith, the head of the Tuol Pongro community said that the land had been granted to a company to grow sugar under the Economic Land Concession. After the sugar company withdrew, San Heang Company started to clear land around the reforestation areas, but this had affected 90 families.

“They have yet to find a solution. So, this new company has added a new problem to an existing one,” he said.

Samrith added that authorities have addressed the problem for only some residents through land swaps. But people who accepted the offer still returned to the first location after they discovered the new land overlapped other property.

Oddar Meanchey provincial Adhoc coordinator Srey Naren said that about 90 families had not received land from the authority. So, they had temporarily relied on the land for their livelihoods.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian