Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Number of capital slums down

Number of capital slums down

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A girl rests under makeshift shelter in a slum area of Chak Angre Krom commune in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district in 2013. Hong Menea

Number of capital slums down

The number of slums in Phnom Penh has dropped to 277 from 340 in 2013, a survey conducted by Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) and released on Tuesday said.

While its data showed positive progress, it noted remaining challenges in places where residents don’t have land titles or access to basic services.

STT said the urban poor in Phnom Penh has dropped by 7,398 families or 22 per cent of the city’s population – from 33,605 in 2013 to 26,207 families last year. Of them, 88 per cent lived in eight outer districts of the capital.

Sixty-six communities were excluded from STT’s survey as they had either improved or vanished entirely due to development.

“However, the principal cause of this decrease (53 per cent of the total)was due to improvements in housing conditions (ie they are no longer considered poor),” the report said.

The survey found that 47 per cent, or 131, of the city’s slums, were located next to a river, canal, lake or pond, and 17 per cent were located next to a railway.

Up to 83 per cent of these settlements claimed they did not have land titles. Of the 277 total settlements surveyed, 41 said they were facing evictions due to development. While 63 per cent said they were living on someone else’s property.

“While many residents who lived in the settlements that have disappeared had to deal with eviction and relocation in the name of development, the 2017 Phnom Penh Survey revealed a positive side as an increasing number of settlements have improved living conditions and are no longer considered ‘poor’,” the report said, adding that much of the decreases in previous years was due to evictions or forced relocations.

But the STT warned that the remaining 277 destitute settlements were still facing challenges and were susceptible to eviction or relocation due to a lack of land titles. A majority of the slums were on state public land, and some do not have all basic services.

Kheng Van Net, STT’s technical programme manager, said there were three recommendations it would give to the government to urge help for these communities.

“First, site development – meaning that if the government needs development, they [the people] also need development.

“Secondly, if the communities need to relocate to other places, the new locations need to be equipped with basic services like electricity, water and a hospital,” he said, adding that the last choice would be that the residents are compensated for land based on market prices.

Phnom Penh City Hall’s poor community development office chief Leng Cheang declined to comment for this report, referring questions to Meth Meas Pheakdey, the city hall spokesperson who could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with