Governor Pledges to Help Evicted Families

Phnom Penh governor Pa Socheatvong on Friday visited evicted residents of the Borei Keila community, now living in a slum atop piles of garbage near their former homes, and promised, yet again, to build proper housing for the 150 families who refuse to move from the site of their former homes.

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said that although the exact plans still needed to be worked out, the municipality would clean up the garbage-filled area where the 150 families are now living and construct at least 150 4-by-6 meter houses nearby.

The 150 families were evicted from their original homes in 2012 and were not given alternative housing or compensation that they had been promised by the property developer who took their land.

“They are living without sanitation…. We cannot let those people go on living…like today because it will affect their health,” Mr. Dimanche said.

Mr. Dimanche said that City Hall would discuss the evictees with the property developer Pheapimex, which reneged on its promise to build apartment buildings for the evicted families after being granted the Borei Keila land by the government.

Shortly after becoming governor in May 2013, Mr. Socheatvong met with protesting residents of the former Boeng Kak lake community, who also face eviction, and promised to resolve their long-running dispute with Shukaku Inc., a property firm owned by CPP senator Lao Meng Khin, which was also given the residents’ land by the government.

With Mr. Socheatvong having made little progress in resolving the Boeng Kak dispute, Borei Keila resident Pich Limkhoun said Sunday he was concerned that the governor would fail to fulfill his promise to the Borei Keila families as well.

“We hope that the governor would not lie to us,” Mr. Limkhoun said.

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