Cambodia – Resentment among villagers for being forced to move from floating villages in Tonle Sap Lake

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Tonle Sap Lake – Kampong Chhnang Province – Cambodia 27/10/2020

Hundreds of Muslim and Buddhist Cambodian and Vietnamese villagers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Cambodian government’s plan to transfer them from their floating homes on Tonle Sap Lake in the village of Chungkoh, located in the city of Kampung Chenang, northern Cambodia, to new areas, for the sake of tourism development and improvement of the environment on the banks of the lake, according to government officials. Their new lands are in a swamp filled with water, and each family was asked to pay $ 1,000 to clear the plot of land whose area is about 50 meters. Villagers who are skilled in fishing in the lake describe the new areas granted to them as empty lands devoid of electricity, clean water, and all infrastructure. Emphasizing their refusal to move from their floating homes to new lands, according to the local authority, 210 families have been moved to the new place and are returning to Tonle Sap Lake for fishing to earn their livelihood, and more than 1000 families are still living on the lake until the moment and do not want to move to the new designated place for them.

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