Land Allocation for Poor Families in Kampong Chhnang Kicks Off
Kampong Chhnang (Dec 12, 2012) – Eight hundred and ninety three landless and land-poor families, 431 of which are female headed families, from 30 villages of Chhean Laeung, Peam, and Krang Lvea communes in Sameakki Mean Chey district of Kampong Chhnang 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.
This is the second time that LWD, in close cooperation with the government, facilitated the process of social concession land allotment for landless and land-poor families.
The total area of the concession land granted by the government is 2,727.67 hectares. Each family got one hectare of agricultural land and a plot of land, sized 30m by 40m for housing.
The first land allotment was made under the same project for 400 landless and land poor families in Kraing Dei Vay commune of Phnom Sruoch district and Raksmei Sameakki commune of Aoral district in Kampong Speu province. The total area of the concession land granted by the government for target land recipients in both communes was 1,120 hectares. Each family got 1.5 hectare of agricultural land and a plot of land, sized 30m by 40m for housing.
Speaking at the land allocation ceremony, H.E Touch Marim, Kampong Chhnang Provincial Governor, highly appreciated and deeply thanked LWD and JSDF/World Bank for supporting the SLC policy of the government aiming to reduce poverty. “The achievements of today resulted from joint efforts made by the local authority at all levels, development partners, donors and government’s SLC technical working groups,” he said.
He requested all land recipients to live permanently on the new land for five years, so that they are eligible to obtain a legal land title after five years. He also encouraged the land recipients to make use of the new land to grow crops and vegetables to improve their livelihoods, and appealed to all donors, related provincial departments, and partner NGOs to continue supporting the development in the new communities.
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 implemented 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.
“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 difficult mission, but it is so valuable that we should respect and be proud of,” Dr. Inn said.
He deeply thanked JSDF and World Bank for their support to the SLC project, and also sincerely thanked Finn Church Aid and Church of Sweden for their contribution to support the settling in and farming activities on the new land.
“This great achievement resulted from working together with the local authorities at all levels, active participation by the communities, and facilitation from LWD with strong technical and morale support from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction,” he said, adding that LWD was highly committed to mobilizing resources and collaborating with the local authority in order to continue assisting the land recipients in settling in properly and earning their livings in a sustainable manner,” he said.
Dr. Inn shared a wisdom that, “If we were born in a poor community, it is not our mistake. But, after we died, our community is still poor; we made a big mistake for our children.”
Ms. Mudita Chamroeun, Senior Rural Development Specialist, EAST for World Bank, highly valued the achievements and encouraged all land recipients to try their best to do the farming work and live permanently on the new land, otherwise the government would take the land back and give it to other people.
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.
The next development phase included (i) supporting parts of house construction materials such as 18 sheets of zincs, bricks and some nails per family; (ii) construction of 287 latrines, (iii) provision of chicken breeds for 227 families and vegetable seeds for each family; (iii) completing the construction of the 2nd community pond and one school building of 5 classrooms; (iv) construction of tertiary road network in the community; and (v) clearing brushes on agricultural land and border demarcation.
Ms. So Tha, 49, widow of 8 children from Okakhob village, Kraing Lvea commune of Sameakki Meanchey district, said she currently lives on a small plot of land, sized 15m by 15m and has no agricultural land.
“Today, I feel very excited and happy beyond comparison. I have never imagined that I have a good luck to receive a land today,” she said. “I will settle in on this land very soon and start my farming activities.”
Ms. So said she planned to grow fruit trees and vegetables on part of her residential land and grow beans, corns, cassavas, rice on her agricultural land.
“I strongly hope that in the next three years, my living conditions will be better,” she said.
For more information, please, contact Leak Ratna (Mr.), LWD Communication Coordinator | E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 012 819 121