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CARM Pressured

CARM Pressured to Conduct a New Survey

On 1 November 2007, CARM contacted CDCam and proposed a new socio-economic survey to be conducted on the Kraing Kaok and Steung Slot Communities. It was suspected that CARM had been pressured by SPF’s acceptance of the 63 families’ grievance into taking some action. The two communities and CDCam agreed to work with CARM on this research. Between 21 and 27 November, two ADB officials interviewed 62 families (in a few cases their relatives and/or neighbors who could speak for them). One family was not available for the survey. It was obvious to the ADB officials that the 63 families’ debt and livelihood problems had emerged as results of the HW1 Project’s resettlement failure. They said that they would analyze survey results and make proposals by mid February 2008.

>>Read more on CARM Survey Results

ADB Blocked Further Grievance

The grievance initiated by the 63 families encouraged other HW1-affected communities into considering to send their cases to SPF, too. However, in December 2007, the ADB Management issued HW1’s Project Completion Report (PCR). ADB’s policy on the Accountability Mechanism states that a complaint submitted to SPF on a project for which a PCR has already been issued is no longer eligible to the mechanism’s investigation. This greatly surprised affected families and NGOs, because the ADB Management had earlier promised to NGOs that the HW1 PCR would not be issued until all outstanding complaints were resolved. The ADB Management took away project-affected villager’s rights to file a grievance at the Accountability Mechanism. The issued PCR did not mention the 63 families’ case filed with SPF, either. The ADB downplayed the magnitude of the problems experienced by the 63 families and the significance of their grievance.

>>Read more on ADB Blocked Further Grievance

NGOs interviewing one of the 63 affected families (July 2007)

Communities Situations Worsened

The mid February 2008 deadline for CARM’s proposals on solutions was not met. CDCam contacted CARM several times for inquires but was only told a new deadline. CARM also did not give CDCam and the two communities much information on what solutions might look like. In May 2008, CDCam sent a letter to CARM, calling for a tripartite meeting to update all the parties involved, CARM, the Cambodian government, and NGOs. CARM’s answer was that they were designing a livelihood stabilization program and would conduct an operations review by mid June 2008. CARM did not agree to hold a tripartite meeting, however. In June 2008, CDCam wrote another letter, asking CARM for more details about the proposed program, but received no response. In the meantime, the 63 families’ situations worsened. By May 2008, a few families in the communities had reportedly sold their land to the creditors. This was the land that they had received as part of the compensation repayment in 2006. The two community leaders were afraid that several more families might lose their land to the creditors, unless effective measures were taken immediately.

>>Read more on Communities’ Situations Worsened

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