ABOUT 50 people staged a protest outside City Hall yesterday, agitating for municipal authorities to intervene after Meanchey district officials gave around 200 families living in Prek Pra commune 15 days to relocate.
According to a notice signed by district governor Kouch Chamroeun and dated December 25, families living along the banks of Prek Pra lake were told me deconstruct their houses within 15 days “in order to facilitate water current flow” as a flood prevention measure.
It stated that Prek Pra Lake was state property and was “a major waterway to prevent flooding”. The letter does not mention any compensation for those affected.
Sun Thida, a 22-year-old resident of Prek Pra commune, said families were calling for district officials to give them more time to move, and asking to be compensated with the equivalent of the market value of their homes.
“The [district] authority not only does not have any compensation for us, but also accused us of building houses on state land,” Sun Thida said.
“In fact we are legally living on the land with recognition from the commune authorities.”
Pov Sith, a 34-year-old resident, said some 200 families had been living on the land with legal land titles since 1990.
“We will not move out if the state doesn’t pay us appropriate compensation,” he said.
Heak Chanleang, deputy district governor, said only about 10 families had been ordered to relocate from the area.
“The villagers built homes on state land. They were anarchic building,” he said.
“If they have legal land titles, please show the authority because we want to know who produced the land titles for them.”