Boeung Trabek is a community situated along the canal in Sangkat Phsa Deum Thkov. The community first organized itself in 1999 but never received formal land titles from the government. STT has estimated that there about 400 families living in the settlement today.
In 2009, former Phnom Penh Governor Mr. Kep Chutema said that the community was an illegal settlement on public state land and would be evicted. Over the years, the settlement and the surrounding area have suffered from heavy floods. The canal is filled with wastewater from the underground pipes so it is not just rainwater that submerges residents’ homes. The government has blamed the increased severity of the flooding on Boeung Trabek community, which has encroached on the canal as the population has grown. However, the government’s insistence on allowing the Boeung Trabek Lake to be filled for commercial development hasn’t helped either.
More recently, on the 31st of January 2015, the Phnom Penh Post reported that government had, without warning, begun marking households with red spray-paint in preparation for imminent evictions. On Wednesday, February 25th, STT held a meeting with Boeung Trabek community leaders to discuss an advocacy strategy. Community members were told to prepare any legal documents they have for their land (family books, accommodation books, identity cards, etc.) and keep them as evidence for compensation negotiations if they are evicted. Future meetings with other NGOs were also planned.