Land Allocation for Poor Families in Kampong Speu Kicks Off
Kampong Speu (June 20, 2012) –Four hundred landless and land-poor families from 9 villages of Krang Dei Vay commune in Phnom Sruoch district and 5 villages of Reaksmei Sameakki commune in Aroal district of Kampong Speu province received social concession land from the government today.
The land allocation was made under the social land concession project, entitled “Community Empowerment through Access to Land Project (CETAL)”, funded by the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) through World Bank and is being implemented by Life With Dignity (LWD). The project cost US$1,483,603, excluding contributions from LWD.
Speaking at the land allocation ceremony, H.E Im Chhun Lim, Minister of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, highly appreciated and deeply thanked LWD and JSDF/World Bank for supporting the SLC policy of the government aiming to reduce poverty.
The total area of the concession land granted by the government is 1,120 hectares. Each family got 1.5 hectare of agricultural land and a plot of land, sized 30m by 40m for housing.
LWD Executive Director Dr. Sam Inn highlighted that CETAL project is part of the Social Land Concession Project of the Royal Government. This project has been implementing since October 2008 by LWF Cambodia which was now transformed into LWD. The project covers two locations—Kampong Speu’s Aoral and Phnom Sruoch districts, and Kampong Chhnang’s Sameakki Meanchey district, which a similar land allocation for 893 landless and land-poor families would be made in the near future.
“Today, I am very delighted and proud as we all took part in the implementation of the social land concession with the Royal Government in providing rights to land for landless and land-poor people in this province. This is a valuable, respectful and prideful mission,” Dr. Inn said.
He inspired all land recipients to overcome all upcoming obstacles and challenges while settling in the new place to start a new life with dignity. Dr. Inn shared a wisdom that, “If you were born with poverty, it is not your mistake. But, if you died with poverty, you made a mistake for your children.” He added that, “Now, it is a good opportunity for you to move out of poverty and LWD will be with you.”
At the ceremony, each family got a farming kit from LWD for their first start up. Each kit consisted of an ax, a bush machete, a kettle, a rake, a pair of watering buckets, a hoe, and a 60-litre water container. In addition, LWD will support the land clearance activity, which will cost $200 per hectare.
The next development phase included (i) supporting parts of house construction materials, including 18 sheets of zincs, bricks and some nails per family; (ii) construction of 13 deep wells, 2 community ponds, a health post, a school building of 5 classrooms, 20 km of soil road with 4 culverts; and (iii) support for housing land and farmland border demarcation.
Mr. Im Suy, 47, from Krasang Khpos village of Krang Dei Vay, said he was so excited beyond comparison to get the land. “I never dream of having it today,” he said.
Mr. Suy and his wife Von Nhanh, 42, migrated from Takeo province to live in Krasang Khpos in 1999. His family of 9 members has no land for both farming and living. His wife’s older brother temporarily allowed him to settle on very small plot of land behind his house in the village.
He said without farmland he and Nhanh earned a living by selling labor force doing many kinds of jobs in the village. With very small irregular income, his family lives from hand to mouth. “When my children are sick, I have no money to buy medicines or take them to the clinic. I had to buy medicines on credit from the drugstore and repay them later,” he said.
“With this new land, I strongly believe that my family living condition will be better,” he said, adding that he wanted to see his family rich.
When asked what a rich family meant to him, Suy replied, “Rich for me means my family has enough food to eat, a good house, a farmland, and a rice field. In addition, I have enough money to give my children 500 riels ($0.125) each per day and have a bicycle for them for riding to school.”
Just receiving clear information that he will get the land, his wife planted 12 jack fruit seeds and one lemon seed. She planned to plant more fruit tree seeds and bring them to grow on her new land.