Nearly 100 families living on a public sidewalk in Boeung Keng Kang district’s Tomnop Teuk commune in Phnom Penh were recently given plots of land by the government in Khasch Kandal district’s Vihear Suor commune in Kandal province to encourage them to move.
Eng Phearith, 24, moved from the sidewalk to one of the plots and told The Post on Sunday that it was a win-win solution for citizens and the administration orchestrated by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The size of each plot of land is 4m by 15m. Citizens who lived on the sidewalk in Tomnop Teuk are qualified to receive a plot if they agree to move.
Phearith said: “My family did not live well. We built our house on the public sidewalk. Prime Minister Hun Sen tackled the issue for us by giving each of us a plot of land with legal ownership to build a proper house.”
He said Vihear Suor is surrounded by factories which should make it convenient for the new settlers to earn a living.
Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey told The Post that the joint effort between citizens and the government will enhance order in Phnom Penh while improving the environment.
“To encourage our poor citizens, the municipal hall decided to give them ownership certificates. It is convenient for them to have a proper livelihood,” he said.
Authorities assisted in delivering materials and tools to Vihear Suor. They also helped find rental properties for citizens to live temporarily for free, Pheakdey said.
Urban Poor Women Development (UPWD) director Sum Samorn showed great appreciation for the government and said she hopes citizens will try to find jobs with integrity according to their ability.
“Authorities have already prepared a water system and a concrete road will be ready soon. There are a lot of garment factories there. The Health centre and school are 2km away,” she said.
UPWD and partnership organisations are raising funds and materials to help the families construct new homes properly, Samorn said.