Cambodia: Villagers in Koh Kong province struggle to get compensation for Chinese-funded Dara Sakor mega project

Author: Titthara May, China Dialogue, Published on: 18 December 2019

"Cambodians struggle to get compensation for Dara Sakor megaproject", 17 December 2019

Saing Puy has been waiting a decade for compensation. She represents 77 of the families in Cambodia’s southwestern province of Koh Kong displaced by a US$3.8 billion Chinese megaproject called Dara Sakor.

…, Tianjin Union Development Group received a 99-year land concession for 36,000 hectares within Koh Kong’s heavily forested Botum Sakor national park, home to rare flora and fauna, including endangered mammals like the pileated gibbon…

While awaiting compensation, Saing Puy travelled to Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh several times to seek intervention from the ministries of land management and environment, as well as from the Chinese embassy. She received only promises…

She said that when Tianjin Union Development Group came they said they would build infrastructure – roads, a school, a health centre – so people were excited about the development…

More than 1,000 families were evicted from Koh Sdech. The company cut down trees to construct roads and make way for new homes for those displaced.

Wang Chao, vice president of the group declined to comment…

Ouch Leng, director of Cambodia Human Rights Task Force, said there were irregularities in the allocation of compensation to villagers and those who participated in protests had been threatened with lower compensation.

… Sophal Ear, an associate professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles, believes what is needed is “more factories and fewer casinos and empty condos. You want to add value, not just launder money and build for no one to live in.”…

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Related companies: Union Development Group