TIMELINE Phnom Penh's decade of land evictions
November 26-28, 2001
Chhbar Ampoe Commune
Fire rages through two slum areas near the Tonle Bassac, leaving 2,500 families homeless, who are then relocated to the outskirts of the city. Police insist both fires were accidental, but residents claim to have seen “flaming torches”, suggesting the blaze was deliberate.
Borei Keila (Right)
Borei Keila becomes the government's poster resettlement project after on-site social land concessions are given to 1,776 families ejected from their homes to make way for a housing development on the site. Despite government promises, just three out of ten apartment buildings have been finished to date, and at least 181 families continue to live in poor shelters on the site. Others have been removed to Toul Sambo, an hour outside of Phnom Penh. Local rights group Licadho calls the development project “derailed”, and Borei Keila residents now complain that the ground floors of their ten promised apartment buildings have been leased out to local businesses.
September 9, 2005
Rong Chak Village
100 armed police and 20 workers bulldoze the houses of 545 families and evict the residents by force. The authorities did not obtain any warrant before destroying the residents’ property. No relocation was offered in compensation.
June 6, 2006
1,367 families are violently ejected from their community next to the site of the new Australian Embassy. Trucks dump them off at an open field in Andong, 22 km from Phnom Penh. Andong remains a poor community, with no sewage or waste collection and severe health problems.
August 29-31, 2007
Dey Krahorm Community (right)
Armed military police and construction workers demolish shelters at the disputed site of Dey Krahom. Figures tell of 1400 to 800 residents living in the community before the old community leaders signs a contract with the 7NG Company in 2005, giving 7NG the 3.6 hectare property in return for building relocation houses in Damnak Trayeung village. Today, around 90 families still live at Dey Krahorm, because they dispute the contract and wants cash compensation equal to the market value of their land.
August 26, 2008
Boeung Kak lake
The biggest urban relocation since the Khmer Rouge evacuation of Phnom Penh in April 1975. Residents have been offered cash and replacement housing at Damnak Trayeung, while many remain at the lake, getting ready for the legal fight for their longtime homes.
These six cases are only the biggest. The Post estimates that at least 10,000 families have been evicted from Phnom Penh over the last eight years to make way for over 30 development projects. This figure is based on complaints filed with local rights organisations Licadho and Adhoc, and Post reports on past evictions. Many families do not receive money or resettlement in compensation for the loss of their homes. Adhoc estimates that at a further 10,000 families are at risk of future evictions.