ADB monitoring developments at Battambang relocation site

Dec. 3, 2010. The Phnom Penh Post today reported on ADB’s response to concerns a coalition of NGOs raised with regards to the drowning of two children at the Battambang resettlement site, along with other concerns. You can read the article here.

Below is the response issued by the ADB office in Phnom Penh on Dec. 2:

“In the Battambang resettlement site, electricity has been installed since September 2010 and all relocated families have access to power. Families who paid for the electricity connection fees will be reimbursed by the Inter-ministerial Resettlement Committee (IRC) shortly.

The IRC is working intensively with the Battambang Water Supply Authority to connect the site to the water supply network. During the interim period, IRC has agreed to deliver drinking water to the relocation site through a private water supplier at no cost for the transport. All relocated families have access to water at a price of 6,000 Riels for 3 cubic meters compared to 15,000 Riels paid by other villagers living in the vicinity of the relocation site. Families confirmed that they can call for water delivery anytime.

We understand from interviews with project affected people that they see the resettlement sites as attractive partly because they are able to obtain security and title to their land.

However, we are in constant dialogue with the Government to address and resolve any other outstanding resettlement issues known to us.

ADB’s position is to ensure compliance with the ADB safeguard policy by providing additional support to the government agencies concerned. ADB will more closely monitor the situation, while expediting agreed activities on a timely basis. This is being actively addressed through recent dialogue with IRC.”