Nov. 1, 2010. Australian media today broke the story of two children who died at the Battambang resettlement site in May as a result of lack of piped water. 13-year-old Hut Heap and nine-year-old Hut Hoeub had been relocated to the site only four days before they went to fetch water for household chores from a nearby pond. The siblings never returned. Instead, their bodies were found some hours later at the bottom of the eight-metre-deep pond.
Although both ADB and AusAID, the principal funders of the railway rehabilitation project, have been made aware of the deaths, the aggrieved family is yet to receive reparations, and piped water has still not been installed at the site.
On Nov. 2, The Phnom Penh Post also reported about the incident and an NGO coalition’s letters to the heads of the ADB and AusAID expressing grave concern about the resettlement processes of the railway rehabilitation. Click here to read the article.