PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh on Saturday began overseeing the dismantling of “floating home” communities on the banks of the Tonle Sap River over the objections of longtime residents who say they have nowhere else to go, reports Reuters
For generations, the floating wooden houseboats of Phnom Penh have been both livelihood and way of life for mostly ethnic Vietnamese families, home to fish farming and interconnected by warrens of hand-built bridges interspersed with sunken poles and small boats.“Our ancestors have always been here,” said Kith Dong, 54, as he and relatives dismantled his home of consisting of a grayling timber platform with a sloped tin roof off the shore of Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district.
He said the city order did not give his family enough time to relocate.
“If they extended by a few more months, we would have time to build a home,” he said.
The Phnom Penh Municipality says the communities amount to floating slums that are eyesores and health hazards, with trash bags and raw sewage floating alongside the houseboats.