A police chief in Kandal yesterday said that a request to delay by eight months the evictions of villagers living in floating homes situated in an area frequented by ferries to Koh Pich will not be approved.
Residents of the floating village on the water surrounding Akrie Khsat port in the province’s Lvea Em district were notified by the district government last week that they had until June 22 to vacate their homes. Immediately after, villagers filed a written request for the district government to allow them to stay for eight more months before they are evicted, villager representative Sok Hour said yesterday.
“We need at least eight months to sell our fish, our boats and other property, so we can earn money for a new place to live,” Hour said. “We beg authorities . . . We know that we are living here illegally, but we have no choice.”
Last week, authorities nailed notices to homes in the village, where about 50 people reside, saying that they were living there illegally.
Lvea Em District Governor Bun Pheng last week said that military forces would be dispatched in the area if people were not gone by June 25.
Akrie Ksach commune police chief An Pench yesterday said in an interview that his department would not heed villagers’ request. “We do not agree,” Pench said. “We have released the letter to move already, and the villagers must obey it.”
Hour, who said that he had not yet received a response from the district government, said that if their request is denied, villagers will move by the deadline to avoid possible damage that authorities could inflict on their property.