City, NGOs Consider Fate of Squatters Ahead of Rainy Season

The Phnom Penh Municipality will meet today with UN and NGO officials to further discuss the fate of 2,000-plus residents at the Anlong Kong squatter relocation site, whom activists say may lose their homes to floods when the rainy season comes.

“We have been pressing the city to help built a dam, and recently they told us we would need to pay the $50,000 to build the dam and dike [to offset the  flooding] at Anlong Kong, but that is more than we would be willing to spend,” Cooperative Services International official Mickey Sampson said. Sam­p­son’s NGO has been working with the Anlong Kong squatters for several months.

Anlong Kong residents were relocated to the site in December after fire destroyed their Tonle Bassac commune homes.

UN-Habitat official Peter Swan, who met with city officials on Wednesday to discuss the Anlong Kong site, said he requested authorization Thurs­day from the UN office in Bang­kok to fund the project to help the displaced residents.

Swan said he would ask city officials today to send engineers to the site to study building a dam and dike because, he said, “if the design isn’t foolproof, it could be fatal for the residents of Anlong Kong.”

But the city is still considering moving the residents back into Phnom Penh if a dam is not built in time to prevent flooding, Phnom Penh Municipality Chief of Cabinet Mann Chhoeun said.


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