About 40 families in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district are disputing local authorities’ demand that they abandon their homes without compensation so the government can increase a nearby canal’s capacity.
The residents, who were asked on September 28 to vacate their homes within a week by Meanchey district Governor Kouch Chamroeun, grew desperate yesterday as excavation work to clear rubbish and plants from the clogged canal caused nearby houses to shake.
According to Sam Phan, chief of Niroth commune: “Families knew that living on the edge of the canal was illegal, because it was state property, so most agreed to move without compensation.”
But several unsatisfied residents filed a complaint with rights group Adhoc, which agreed on Monday to assist them, Adhoc’s investigating officer Ny Chakrya said.
Prern Phan, 79, said she has lived in the area since 1993 and cares for her 10 parentless grandchildren.
“We have no money to build a new house, and our occupation also will be lost,” she said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at [email protected]