“This year the land under my house on poles has completely flooded and stayed under water for 4 months. I do not think I can continue to live there. I do not know what to do.”
Where does one go when actions taken by the government have caused financial damage? Can one claim compensation, and how can this be done? The answers to these questions are important to many people, like Srekao. “To increase the traffic flow from and to the Northern provinces, the government has recently reconstructed the road that follows the river Mekong changing local drainage conditions.” In an attempt to solve one problem, the government has given rise to another one, leaving Srekao to pick up the pieces.
In deep water
In Srekao’s case, the land under her house has been flooded for months, as result of the construction of a new road: “I live next to the Mekong on the road to Kratie. The new road is built on a high dyke that has changed the water flows and drainage in the wet season. This year the land under my house has been flooded since the first big rain and has remained under water for 4 months after.” Faced with deteriorating living conditions, Srekao finds herself in an untenable situation.
People like Srekao are often unaware of their rights, and if they are aware, there are very few remedies available in case of rights violations. “I do not think I can continue to live there. I do not know what to do.” Srekao needs support to protect her valid interests. People like Srekao can benefit not only from increased awareness of their rights, but also from practical guidance to help them enter into dialogue with the government. Strengthened by such information and guidance, people like Srekao will be able negotiate for example a claim for compensation and demand that the government will establish accessible remedies, for the unjust damage done to her property.