Stung Treng provincial authorities are coordinating a huge relocation of more than 130 families living on the banks of the Sekong River to prevent landslides and contribute positively to the town’s aesthetics.
Stung Treng Provincial Hall spokesman Meng Kong said that most of the families have already agreed to move their homes to prearranged locations set up by authorities 2km from the riverbank and market in Stung Treng town.
“Most people have accepted the compensation and only a few others are considering it.
“Each family is due to receive a plot of land 10m-wide and 20m-long. The new locations have just been connected to the power grid with the promise of connecting clean water soon,” he said.
Between 500m to 600m will then be filled with concrete, with construction due to start later this year, Kong said.
“The riverbank was developed to stop landslides. If the people who live there have houses currently on the riverbank, we are prepared to move them to the new, safer housing land.
“Another aspect of the construction is for the aesthetics of the city. Families on the riverbank are harming the environment and they don’t have land titles either,” he said.
The Ministry of Information has confirmed that the Stung Treng district authorities have ordered residents of the riverbank, from the Royal House to the Mekong Bridge, to completely dismantle their houses by April 30th to allow authorities to develop a cleaner city.
Strung Treng district governor Say Kosal has informed the families on the Sekong riverbank in Prek village, Stung Treng commune, Preach Bat commune and along the Mekong riverbank in Ba Chong village of the move as part of the 2020 clean municipal development project.
A Stung Treng district administration’s Facebook post also said that the temporary dismantlement of slum buildings on the riverbank had been welcomed by 129 families.
Adhoc group coordinator Bey Vanny expressed support for the dismantlement plan, saying the authorities openly negotiated with the villagers and he did not witness any coercion.
“The authorities have tried to exchange or find a resolution at the people’s request. We applaud the resolution as it complies with human rights principles, civil rights, or housing rights and allows them to live legally in a housing area,” he said.