Phnom Penh’s Veng Sreng Blvd. was once packed every evening at the end of the working day. Workers from a long row of garment factories would fill the streets as they prepared to go home. But since a slump in the industry sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic this year, the crowds are scarcer.
Sellers of watermelons, bread, soft drinks, snacks — vendors of all stripes around Veng Sreng and other manufacturing districts told VOD that their small businesses were becoming nearly impossible to sustain, one of the many knock-on effects of a decline in the country’s primary export industry.
Lorn Phally, 37, says he is earning barely enough to eat by selling watermelons off a trailer attached to his motorbike.