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Tunle Bassac Residents Are Facing Serious Plight

More than 1,000 families evicted from Sambok Chab, Tunle Bassac are facing serious plight, lacking foods, no jobs, children suffering from diarrhea, fever, and lack of clean water.

They were transported against their will to be settled in district Dangkor about 20km. from Phnom Penh. Civil society and local officials allege that up to Wednesday the Cambodian government has not given these villagers any land, and they are worried about possible health threats, and job loss.

A villager says that the situation is very different at the new site from the old one, where it was easy to make a living, and now some children have dysenteries, and the water is filthy. Others complain about their children missing schools, and being abandoned to face difficulties.

Deputy district chief Phok Seiha expresses concern about the people settling in his jurisdiction. He says that in the city hall's report, the government plans to give one hectare of land to only 360 families, whereas each family should have received 5X6 meters of land.

Andoung village chief Sok Chham says that one hectare of land is too small for such a large number of people to settle. The people have to set up tents on local people's land. He worries about the possibility of these new arrivals grabbing the land and make it their own because the harvest season is coming. He says that the people lack foods and water.

Human rights organization Adhoc's investigation official Chan Saveth notes that those people do not benefit from any politician's goals except for some rations of rice, soy sauce, and fish sauce to about 300 residents. He says that to evict people and settle them somewhere else without preparations is wrong.

In his words, to use force is wrong, and at the old place people can make a living, whereas at the new site, the people cannot even find motorcycle transportation to buy foods.

Phnom Penh's deputy mayor Khun Sea in charge of emergency foods says that up to now he has not received a definite number of people settled at the new site, but that preparations have been made for only 364 families.