Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Eviction of fish farms in Boeung Samrong lake won’t be delayed’

‘Eviction of fish farms in Boeung Samrong lake won’t be delayed’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Fish farms in Boeung Samrong lake in Prek Pnov district. Pha Lina

‘Eviction of fish farms in Boeung Samrong lake won’t be delayed’

The eviction of fish farms in Boeung Samrong lake in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district will not be delayed, authorities have said, urging farm owners to accept the compensation offered by the government.

A notice was issued on January 14 ordering around 302 families of fish farmers to vacate the premises within “10 days from the date of letter’s issuance”.

Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng told The Post on Wednesday that “the government guarantees compensation for any loss that the fish farm owners might suffer”. He also stressed that the eviction will not be postponed.

“The authority cannot allow them [fish farmers] to delay [the eviction process] any longer. They have been occupying a state-owned property. Now I need to restore the lake, [therefore], they must leave their farms and I will pay compensation to cover any loss,” Sreng said.

The eviction, he noted, is part of the government’s efforts to restore the function of the 336ha lake as a flood storage area.

Sim Sophorng, Prek Pnov district administration chief, said on Wednesday that about 50 per cent of the evictees had agreed to move out and that his administration had instructed the farmers to leave on several occasions.

He said that “the authority will not be responsible for any damages [caused to their farms] during the process of restoring the lake”.

Sen Mab Sal, one of the evictees, explained why some of the farmers were reluctant to abide by the notice, saying: “The lake is currently at low water levels . . . it is affecting the growth of our fish.”

Speaking to The Post, he appealed for the postponement of the eviction for another year until their fish gets big enough to be sold at the markets.

“If the local authority doesn’t provide any solution, I will have to complain to higher authorities, maybe at the municipal level,” Mab Sal said.

Soeung Saran, the director of urban NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), called for coordination between the government and fish farmers to work towards “a reasonable solution that is acceptable for all involved parties”.

He lauded the authority’s good intention to preserve the lake and to provide compensation.

“The process needs to be transparent and accountable . . . The authority should involve all relevant parties in order to come up with an acceptable solution,” Saran said.

Sub-decree 65 dated June 9, 2008, indicated that Boeung Samrong lake, then situated in Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district, is state property. It came under the management of Prek Pnov district authority, in Phnom Penh, since 2014.

MOST VIEWED

  • Historic Battambang town bans billboards

    The Battambang town administration informed all house and business owners in Svay Por commune to remove all billboards by August 1 as it is preparing to submit the town to UNESCO for inclusion on its historical cultural heritage list. Its July 25 notice said all signage was

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Khmer influence growing in Hollywood

    The rare success of The Cleaning Lady – an American TV series which stars Cambodian-French Hollywood actress Elodie Yung – sheds some light on Asian immigrants to the US, yet a significant representation gap of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) exists both on screen and behind

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of