Development of any site should be well organized in advance
and include the participation of local people, a UN expert said Monday, which
was World Habitat Day.
has seen a huge influx of development projects, leading to the displacement of
thousands of people, many of them unwillingly.
In some cases, those who are moved from an urban site have
been living there illegally.
But Din Somethearith, the UN's World Habitat program manager
in Cambodia, said Monday people should be considered during the plans of
development, whether they occupy a space legally or not.
"There should be a good understanding, if you want to
development a place, whether it will be in the interest of the people or the
economy, whether people are living there illegally or legally, whether those
people are supplemental for the growth of the economy or not," he said, as
a guest on "Hello VOA."
Officials should not dismiss illegal residents out of hand,
he said, as they also support the economy. Many people wish to live in urban
areas because it provides a place for business, but by moving them out of
town, a common practice across Phnom
Penh development projects, a city loses their support.
Meanwhile, residents of a proposed development should
be warned five years in advance, with opportunity for long discussions and
problem-solving well ahead of time, Din Somethearith said.
The UN World Habitat project promotes higher living
standards in Cambodia
through partnership with the national government and local authorities.