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Value of dam-affected homes being assessed

Value of dam-affected homes being assessed

Officials have started to assess properties in Oddar Meanchey that will be flooded by an under construction dam, though the affected villagers remain in the dark about possible compensation.

Eight officers from the Ministry of Finance and the province’s water resources department were in Chongkal district’s Srah Keo village yesterday, which is expected to go under when the Sino Hydro dam project comes online displacing more than 200 families.

The inspectors are continuing assessments of property value, which district governor Rithy Pak said started when construction began two years ago.

However, with the $67 million project nearing completion, and compensation terms not yet laid out, villagers say they’re getting nervous, and have staged several protests in recent weeks demanding a resolution.

“We have been waiting for a solution for years and now the dam construction is completed,” said Chhang Saroeun, 48, who remains under court supervision, for leading the demonstrations. “The authorities ignore the issue, so we protest; if we don’t protest, we will get nothing.”

Saroeun said the community was not against the project – which will supply over 250 million cubic metres of water to three provinces – but wanted fair compensation.

Pak said the project was 80 per cent complete and villagers needed to give authorities more time to work.

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