In the wake of 600 families having moved from their homes along the Siem Reap river, authorities yesterday finally began to widen the river and construct a sewage disposal system.
The provincial government has borrowed about $26 million from the Export-Import Bank of Korea to complete the two projects before April 2014.
The sewage project will improve the hygienic and sanitary conditions of Siem Reap town, Minister of Public Works and Transport Tram Iv Tek said at a ceremony yesterday.
“It is necessary to provide a more suitable sewage and drainage system in the city, not only to ensure the health of Cambodians but also to attract international tourists,” Tram Iv Tek said.
The river is heavily polluted, Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhay Ly said.
“Wastewater flows into the Tonle Sap lake and pollutes the underground water, creating high risks to health, ” he said.
About 600 families have moved to a relocation site about four kilometres from the city centre for the first stage of the widening project.
Another 300 to 400 families will be relocated for the next stages of the project before 2014.
Sou Phirin said most resettled families are satisfied with the financial compensation and 7x15-metre plots of land they have received.
But more than 30 families living near the river have sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking not to be evicted.
To contact the reporter on this story: Thik Kaliyann at [email protected]