Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Squatters housing plans hooked into the rough

Squatters housing plans hooked into the rough

Squatters housing plans hooked into the rough

THE much-maligned community of Phnom Penh squatters have apparently had plans

for a permanent home dashed again - by the developers of a golf

course.

Twenty hectares of land in Beung Srayap commune, about five kms

northwest of Phnom Penh, has now been reserved for a golf course, Nith Sopha,

coordinator of the Urban Sector Group, said.

Kry Meng Hong, vice-governor

of Phnom Penh Municipality, said that he had just come back from Africa and

could not comment, but did say that he heard one of his governors propose the

land for a golf course.

In 1992, Concern International placed 500

squatter families from Phnom Penh to Kopsrove commune, about 15 kms away, but

the families returned in droves when their grounds flooded.

Meng Hong

said since then the city had been looking the money to buy suitable land for the

squatters but had yet been able to find any.

"People complain that we do

not consider the squatters," he said.

"You see, all the land is already

occupied and it's expensive. No land is free or suitable for the squatters. Many

NGOs have been pledged to help but there is no money on hand. "

Sopha

said that the land now marked for the golf course belongs to government. It had

been abandoned for many years, and only recently had a few houses been erected

there.

"We want the government to provide the land. NGOs such as Asian

Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR), PADEK and UNICEF, are going to help fund,

build, provide water, education and credit," she said.

Meng Hong said

that many squatters had their own houses in the provinces, but came into Phnom

Penh to make money.

They created problems, he said.

"You see, they

are the slum of our city. And they the source of robbery, prostitution and

gambling, " he said.

Sopha responded that it was not only the squatters

who broke the law, but ministers' sons used to rob and gamble. "In every corner

of Phnom Penh there is a brothel, not just in squatters' areas," she

said.

She said the local municipal authority had asked money from

squatters for permission to build the houses, provided ID cards and legal

addresses - but later asked them to quit the city.

Nok Ing, 52, from

Svay Rieng, who is living on the bank of Bassac River told the Post that he gave

50,000 riel to a policeman in this district for his settlement - but he is still

having to squat illegally.

About 1,600 families - 12,000 people - have

been living on the river bank, road sides and roof tops since 1990. They have

jobs ranging from construction workers, moto-taxi and cyclo drivers, garbage

collectors and government workers.

MOST VIEWED

  • South Korea’s first lady brings hope to ill boy

    South Korea’s first lady Kim Keon-hee – wife of current president of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol – met with a 14-year-boy with congenital heart disease during her trip to the Kingdom for the ASEAN Summit. After their meeting it was announced that the

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol