When roughly 500 police and security forces arrived in Borei Keila to support the forced evictions, Veng Ny was living in a small shack with his wife and three children. He watched as a bulldozer levelled the house with all of his family’s possessions inside.
Though reluctant to leave Phnom Penh, when the Phan Imex development company promised him that he would receive a new house in one of their designated relocation sites, Veng Ny thought he was doing what was best for his family by accepting the offer. He was promised that their new house, in the Toul Som Bo relocation site, would be provided with low cost electricity and water services, something he hadn’t had before. But after four months of living in Toul Som Bo, the power and water were disconnected without warning, and they never turned back on.
As a result Veng Ny and his neighbours have been forced to pay a private firm to reconnect the services at an exorbitant price. He now finds himself in a hopeless situation with no reliable source of income. Since Toul Som Bo is located outside the city limits, he must walk three hours into Phnom Penh where he occasionally finds odd jobs, but the money is not enough. Everything that he earns goes to food. His children are unable to go to school because he can’t pay the bribes demanded by most teachers in Cambodia, though the total cost for all three children’s education is less than $100/year.
The full photo story can be seen here.
Since the Cambodian government does next to nothing to help those affected by the Borei Keila evictions, NGOs are one of the only sources of hope for these people. When asked which organization helps them the most, the vast majority named Licadho as being the most involved, giving them food and medicines. Please consider donating to help the evicted.