The Phnom Penh Post

Floating-house owners, river fish farmers told to relocate

- Lay Samean

OWNERS of floating houses and other unofficial structures on the rivers bordering the capital were ordered by the Phnom Penh Municipal Administra­tion to remove or relocate the structures from June 2.

Some opportunis­ts have been covertly fish farming, building floating houses, piers and other structures, municipal governor Khuong Sreng stated in an announceme­nt, adding that illegal structures have caused disorder, affected water ways and ecosystems.

The release of waste water and using the rivers as a toilet damaged biodiversi­ty, reduced water quality, polluted the environmen­t and affected Phnom Penh’s beauty, the municipal administra­tion added.

Sreng said: “Owners are to dismantle and remove structures on the river within one week of this notice.

The governor stressed that after this grace period ends, the municipal administra­tion will take administra­tive action and accept no responsibi­lity for damage or loss. If there is resistance, authoritie­s will refer the case to court.

Meanwhile, the Chbar Ampov district administra­tion, a district with floating houses and other illegal structures on the river, acted in accordance with the municipali­ty and issued a notice to owners of the structures.

District governor Cheng Monira briefly told The Post that he was holding a meeting to discuss the case.

The municipal administra­tion also asked the people to stop raising fish along the river in Phnom Penh and farm fish in ponds instead.

Tin Saleh, a former representa­tive of the fish farming in floating cages business community in Chraing Chamreh I and II, told The Post that after receiving the notice, he immediatel­y told people to remove structures.

“I informed my community as the law has already been put in place. We have to remove our floating cages. Although we have been raising fish along the river for a long time, now it’s time for the government to remove everything, so we don’t protest. ”

Am Sam Ath, the deputy director of monitoring at Licadho, said that the Phnom Penh municipal administra­tion’s decision was good.

“The city must be beautiful, both environmen­tally and hygienical­ly, as the water people use must be clean,” he said.

He added that at the same time, municipal hall should find a solution through peaceful negotiatio­ns with stakeholde­rs.

 ?? HENG CHIVOAN ?? Fish farms on the Tonle Sap River are seen in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district on April 19.
HENG CHIVOAN Fish farms on the Tonle Sap River are seen in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district on April 19.

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