Floating Vietnamese communities evicted from Phnom Penh struggle to make ends meet

Starting in June 2021, hundreds of ethnic Vietnamese families living in floating villages on the Tonle Sap river have been evicted from Phnom Penh and told to relocate upstream and downstream — a move that families say has caused difficulties for their livelihood. 

Speaking at a press conference earlier this month, Keut Chhe, Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh, said there are now nearly 200 floating houses in Prek Pnov district, at the border between Phnom Penh and Kandal province

“We requested those 200 floating houses to stop their fish farm and told them to find [new] jobs and it will take us several years to complete this work,” Chhe said. He said that the families, who primarily rely on fishing and fish farming to earn a living, will be given three years to find an alternative vocation, claiming that their activities polluted the water. 

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Va Sopheanut