Residents evicted Saturday from Phnom Penh’s Dey Krahorm community filed a letter of complaint with National Assembly President Heng Samrin on Monday asking him to intervene on their behalf to secure more financial compensation from the 7NG company.
The Dey Krahorm residents, who were forced from their homes by police and military police using tear gas, batons and water cannon, met earlier Monday with Deputy Phnom Penh Governor Mann Chhoeun but were told they would not receive any help from City Hall to claim the insufficient compensation they refused to accept prior to their eviction.
7NG had been offering residents up to $20,000 in compensation or a new home in Dangkao district on the city’s outskirts, but according to company representatives, 91 families rejected all offers. They were therefore evicted by force Saturday and would not get any compensation.
But human rights groups and village representatives reiterated Monday that the number of Dey Krahorm families was closer to 150 families.
Srey Sothea, adviser for 7NG, said Monday that he wasn’t sure whether the company would offer compensation to anyone if Heng Samrin were to intervene.
However, two families have accepted housing at the Dangkao district relocation site since the forced eviction.
On Monday, most of the people building makeshift shelters of poles, sheets and tarpaulins in front of the Damnak Trakyoeng relocation site were those who were never offered any compensation in the first place, as they were not considered legal residents, local rights group Licadho said.
“Most of them are market-stall holders from Dey Krahorm, and many of them lived and slept in their shops, but they were not formal land owners,” Licadho consultant Jason Barber said.
The area where the residents have now moved to in Damnak Trakyoeng is in very poor condition and not equipped to house that many people. It lacks adequate sanitation, drinking water and shelter, he added.
So far Licadho doctors have treated injuries resulting from Saturday’s eviction, but if relocated residents continue living in these conditions, other diseases such as diarrhea, stomach and intestinal problems, and respiratory diseases are likely to appear, Barber said.
(Reporting by Chhorn Chansy, Rann Reuy and Cajsa Collin)