Phnom Penh garbage scavengers face eviction

by John Einar Sandvand on June 1, 2009

scavenger7The scavengers at Stung Meanchey are on the bottom of society in one of Asia’s poorest countries. Now they may be asked to move any day, making their lives even more miserable.


I have already written two times about my visit to the Stung Meanchey garbage dump in Phnom Penh:

On this garbage dump hundreds of families make their living by picking and sorting garbage. It is one of the most dangerous professions in the world with plenty of poisonous gases and extremely poor hygiene.

Yet it is the only way these families know to make a living for themselves.

Now they probably will be evicted. Cambodian authorities have decided to close down the site and move the dump several miles further outside the capital. Residents have been told the move will take place in the “second quarter” of the year.

For the families living off scavenging these are dramatic news. Most of them probably see no alternative to work at the dump, where a family typically makes a couple of dollars each day.

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