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Three areas desginated for disabled musicians

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A blind woman sings for donations on the roadside in Phnom Penh in 2015. Sreng Meng Srun

Three areas desginated for disabled musicians

Phnom Penh Municipal Governor Pa Socheatvong and a group of disabled musicians who perform for donations agreed on Friday to restrict performances to three designated areas, rather than on street corners throughout the capital, as had previously been the case.

The designated areas are Wat Phnom, the former Freedom Park and Wat Botum park.

Met Measpheakdey, spokesman for City Hall, said the meeting was attended by representatives of 21 disabled groups, and they all agreed to stop performing on the streets.

“We are worried about their safety,” he said. “Their safety is a big issue.”

Their street performances had also contributed to traffic congestion, as motorists held up others when stopping to provide donations. Having the performers in the streets was also an “unsuitable image” for the city, he said.

Measpheakdey said officials plan to build stages at the designated areas, but don’t know when they will be completed.

“This is the first initiative we prepare for them,” he said, adding that two more locations will be identified, for a total of five, where performers will have to follow stage schedules.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has also donated a vehicle to help performers transport their instruments, he added.

Performer Chea Savoeurn, 27, who was singing at a traffic light near the Olympic Stadium yesterday, said the move will impact his income.

“I usually earn 100,000 riel per day,” he said, adding that there will be much more competition at the new designated areas.

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