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Communities’ Situations Worsened

NGO Survey on the 63 Families’ Debt and Income

In October 2008, CDCam conducted a short survey to find out the current debt and income levels of the 63 families. Results were compared with those of CARM’s November 2007 socio-economic survey. Findings included:

  1. The total debt shouldered by all the 63 families decreased from 42,777.50 USD in November 2007 to 40,657.91 USD in October 2008 by 2,119.59 USD;
  2. The average debt for each family was 666.52 USD in October 2008 with a slight decrease, as compared to 689.96 USD in November 2007; and
  3. The average daily income earned by each family decreased from 3.06 USD at the pre-project stage to 1.93 USD in November 2007. It then slightly increased to 2.21 USD in October 2008.

The 63 families’ total debt dropped by about 2,000 USD between November 2007 and October 2008. However, this was not necessarily because they were able to pay back the money themselves. After having asked the 63 families more questions, CDCam found that at least one more family seemed to have sold their land to the creditor presumably to pay back their debt. Some families received assistance from relatives and/or depended on family members who had migrated to work in larger cities, where better income-generating jobs could be available. Thus, some villagers are working much harder and under less favorable conditions to return the family debt. CDCam’s analysis does not include the money, either the principal or the interest, which might have already been returned by the villagers to their creditors.

Some women from the Kraing Kaok and Steung Slot Communities are walking to the forest to collect firewood. They said, due to development induced by the HW1 Project, nearby forests have been cleared and now they have to walk longer to collect firewood to sell at a local market. Behind them is the renovated HW1 (May 2008).

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