World Prize Given Cambodian Monk

Sun Narin

September 7, 2010

MONKS COMMUNITY FORESTRY (MCF)  in Oddar Meanchey provincial Samraong district has been chosen by the Equator Initiative’s Technical Advisory Committee in the United States as one of 25 outstanding winners of the Equator Prize 2010 because it has a strong demonstration of the ingenuity of community-based work currently being undertaken in the tropics, often against tremendous odds, according to United Nation Development Program’s press release on July 15, 2010.

Venerable Bun Salouth, 39, the director of MCF committe and now staying in Prasat Reach Samraong pagoda, said that the villagers, the committee members and nation-wide people were very surprised and happy to hear that Cambodia won the world’s prize.

“I am absolutely delighted to be one of 25 winners, representing Cambodia as a whole,”, adding that “I could not imagine that I won,” said Bun Saluth.

He said that his committee was established since 2001 and have been helping the forest life alot. Now it has some 60 members including monks and people.

He added that the committee’s duty is to guard in the forests everyday, disseminate the information, educate people and to raise awareness of the forests and wildlife in the forests of the roughly 18000 hectares.

“We are working specifically on protecting the forests and wildlife,” he said.

He said that his committee was awarded due to voluntary work to helping develop the country, devoting to supporting forests resource, loving forests and the successful work in the forests.

MCF will receive a $5,000 USD award and a Certificate of Achievement which will be presented at the Equator Prize Award Ceremony in New York, USA on 20 September, 2010.

He said that he would take the award champion to put in the government place for Cambodia and use money for solve the problem in the forests and support the committee.

Sambok Chab villagers not Allowed to Build Houses

Sun Narin

September 7, 2010

More than 100 former Sambok Chab’s villagers in  Dongkor district’s  Kouk Roka commune’s Andoung village were standing against and arguing on Monday with the authority who did not allow them to construct the house, village chief said.

Heng Deu, Andoung 3 community chief, said that people did not listen to the Phnom Penh municipality who wanted to construct the stone house for them.

“They are living in anarchy,” and they did not want the stone house from the authority.

Villagers are living on the area of 3,2 hectare land concession from the Phnom Penh municipality and the authority plans to build 4 by 5 meter stone house for them and let them pay 1000 dollars in the 5 years’time.

He said that people were still building the house ,adding that, “They do not listen to the authority,”

Tan Sophal, 51, Andoung’s villager told Post yesterday that the villager’s houses were dilapidated and leaked with water and they asked for some wood and zinc from the humanitarian organization.

“ We cannot afford to pay for the stone house to the authority if [authority] build for us,” he said.

He said that the district people insulted and threatened the humanitarian sponsors to put in jail.

“We live in difficulties, why they still want to make problem with us,” he said.

Sok Soeun, 61, said that he and the villagers asked for some material such as zinc and wood from the humanitarian organization his house was damage and leaked with water.

He said that he and the other villagers would protest against the authority and continued constructing and repairing the house.

“We do not want the stone house. We need only wooden house that we can live,” he said.

“They may take the house if they build stone house for us,” he said.

Abraham, the director of Development Population for Country (DPC) said that he agreed to provide the villagers with the material for constructing and repairing the houses but the authorities did not allow them to do it.

“They are living in difficulties, so we want to help them,” he said.