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Families told not to rebuild

A woman whose house at the Boeung Kak lakeside Village 1 was flooded by
sand and water this weekend sits on a bed frame near the lake
yesterday. Photo by: Will Baxter
REPRESENTATIVES of 24 families living
along a railway line in the Boeung Kak lakeside’s Village 1 said
yesterday that Srah Chak commune officials had warned them against
repairing their homes, more than two weeks after they were submerged by
sand pumped into the area by a development company.

Chan
Rithisak said commune authorities had told the families that their
building materials would be confiscated if they attempted to repair
their homes, and that they should instead “endure” their situation. He
said such a suggestion was impossible.

“We can not endure now, we need to rebuild our homes to live in safety,” he said.

Ung
Sothy, 63, said she was concerned that her grandchildren could be in
danger from electric shocks or dengue fever due to the flooding.

“Currently,
we seem to live in a prison, not in a home, because the commune
authorities prevent us from rebuilding [our homes],” she said.

Deputy
Commune Chief In Sophorn said she had told Shukaku Inc, the company
that is developing the lakeside area, to help pump water away from the
homes of families in Village 1.

“I think that tomorrow the water will be pumped from their homes,” she said.

She
also said that the families – who say they have still not received
US$8,500 in relocation compensation that Shukaku Inc had agreed to pay
them in 2007  – “should continue to wait”. “I am waiting for a
regulation from the Phnom Penh governor,” she said.

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