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Hundreds of villagers demand their land

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
The villagers waiting for a decision. KT/Mai Vireak

More than 100 Koh Kong province villagers returned to the Land Management Ministry office in Phnom Penh demanding that the authorities speed up the distribution process of three hectares of land owed to each family as compensation in two districts after authorities declared it had solved a dispute between villagers and two sugar companies.

Inter-ministerial leaders in March officially ended the dispute between villagers and Koh Kong Sugar Industry and Koh Kong Plantation.

The companies were to give three hectares of land and $2,500 to each family. However, over 175 households said that the Koh Kong sugar giants have not been holding up their end of the bargain.

Phav Nherng, a representative for villagers in Sre Ambel and Botum Sakor districts, said yesterday that the villagers received the money in April but they are still waiting for the three hectares of land to be distributed.

She said that the Land Ministry must speed up the measurement process and quickly distribute plots of land so that villagers can make a living.

“We really want the land for farming, especially now that it’s the beginning of the rainy season,” she said. “It’s already rainy season, the perfect time to begin planting crops, but we do not have the land, meaning that we will have no food and will have to wait for another year to cultivate the land.”

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