RESIDENTS of Andong village in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district – who were evicted from their homes in Chamkarmorn district in 2006 – received 25 additional houses from a local NGO during a ceremony yesterday.
Hay Hoeun, president of the Andong Thmey community, said this was the eighth such instance of relocated residents receiving homes, and that more than 50 homes in total had been built to date by the People for Care and Learning, a United States-based NGO.
“We are working step by step; we cannot give all the families new homes at one time,” he said. “Other people have to wait for the next step.”
He said that there were a total of 1,554 families who were evicted from their houses at the Sambok Chab community in Chamkarmorn district’s Tonle Bassac commune.
Of those, only 224 families have received houses, and that local authorities have so far set lots for 444 families in total.
“We have three hectares of land set aside for those families, and each family gets a plot of land measuring four-by-six metres,” he said. “Other people are waiting for land.”
Andong village chief Sok Cham said people in the area were facing difficulties and had only been able to build temporary homes as they waited to accept housing from municipal authorities and local NGOs.
“We are very glad our people have received suitable houses for living,” he said.
Jennifer Tollefson, a representative of People for Care and Learning, said the NGO planed to build another 50 homes for the community.
“We are very excited about this project and the opportunity to help serve the families in this community,” she said by email.
More than 1,000 police officers, many of whom were armed and wearing riot gear, descended on the Sambok Chab slum, known as the “birds nest”, in June 2006 to evict the families, who were sent to Andong village in Dangkor’s Trapang Krasang commune, located some 25 kilometres from the city centre.
They were removed by Phnom Penh authorities on behalf of local developer, Sour Srun Enterprises, who bulldozed the area for re-development.