More Families to Be Evicted From Floating River Homes

Following the eviction earlier this month of about 1,000 mostly Vietnamese families living in floating homes in Kompong Chhnang City, provincial authorities now have plans to evict a further 1,500 mostly Cambodian families living further south on the river, officials said Sunday.

As part of a city beautification plan, Vietnamese families residing on the Tonle Sap in the middle of Kompong Chhnang City were forced to float their homes out of sight and authorities on Wednesday extended the order to another settlement in neighboring Rolea Ba’ier district.

So Sareth, the chief of the district administrative council, and Morm Choeun, the spokesman for the province, both confirmed the order had been made Sunday but would provide no details of the decision.

“I heard that in a meeting the authorities planned to move families who are living in the floating homes onto the land, but I have no details about the case because I did not join the meeting,” Mr. Choeun said.

Mr. Choeun added only that the evicted families, like the ethnic Vietnamese families evicted from Kompong Chhnang City, would be provided with plots of land to live on sometime over the next few years.

Deputy district governor Chheng Nhann, who could not be reached Sunday, was quoted by the Koh Santepheap Daily as saying that authorities are preparing a 600-meter by 1,000-meter plot of land near the floating village for resettlement.

Ieng Sok, a 61-year-old woman who said she has lived in the village for about 30 years, said she was already used to farming because part of her home is on the land during the dry season.

“The plan is good because I and my family members don’t want to live on the water. It’s very difficult. For example, when strong wind, storms or big waves come, it breaks our property,” Ms. Sok said.

“However, I think the size of land they plan to give us is very small,” she added.

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