On March 29th 2015, Urban Voice organized a Task Force meeting at STT with 23 participants (f=13) who were youth, university students, and community activists. In the morning, the Urban Voice team welcomed and allowed each participant to introduce each other before the meeting began. After, the Urban Voice team introduced the meeting’s objectives, the Urban Voice project, Task Force activities, and the agenda for the Thmor Koul Community visit.
At around 9:00am, all participants traveled to the Thmor Koul Community. All participants arrived at the Thmor Koul Community around 9:50am. They then were shown around by the community leader until 11:40am. At 12pm, the Urban Voice team and the volunteer group got lunch together at the Reattrey Chom Chao restaurant.
The purpose of this field trip was to engage youth and communities with the Urban Voice website, as well as urban development issues, so that they can learn about and participate in UV’s activities such as campaigns and reporting.
All participants during the visit were guided by the community leader. They asked questions personally to the community leader about situations facing Thmor Koul Community and its residents. There were two main questions that all participants discussed and shared opinions about during the Task Force meeting after returning from the field visit.
1. What have you seen and learned from your visit?
- Current land depute: Cambodia International Airport plans five-metre expansion from its gate:
- two hundred families are affected by this expansion plan
- The community residents demand proper compensation from the governement
- Each of the settlements are legal
- One out of six representatives of the community have been arrested
- The residents are suffering from injustice
- Lack of hygiene
- Lack of proper waste management
- Obvious air and water pollution
- Living Conditions:
- Most of residents are doing small business such as sales to gain their living
- Most of them are living in poor and difficult conditions
- Some residents have taken their land possesion letters to bank in exchange for financial support
- There is a lack of infrastructure, schools, educated residents, and living security in this community
2. What are some solutions to address these problems?
Some solutions to address the previously listed problems are:
- The community should obtain legal land possession letters
- The government should provide better coniditions for the community
- The residents should become united in order to advocate for their rights
- Non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations should be involved in capacity building and helping to find solutions for the community
- The community representative should keep close contact with authorities