Families in Battambang Receive Land Certificates

The awarding of land certificates to 115 Social Land Concession beneficiaries has started on August 21, in Battambang City, Battambang. This is indeed an important achievement for the project.

Following the formalization of the extension to another year of project implementation, the project on Strengthening Civil Society and Government Partnership to Deliver Land Tenure Security continues to show good progress in achieving results for the families it serves in Battambang after successfully receiving support from the Provincial Governor of allowing the 256 families to formally settle within the urban area of Battambang City. The families are currently being relocated to their equally allocated land plots. The land area was re-blocked and divided into 648 plots in five main blocks. The re-blocking map was submitted and officially approved by the Provincial Governor.The project is also focusing on the site infrastructure. The design and estimated cost of cross roads, drainage system and community centers were completed and now officially approval by the Provincial Governor.

A public meeting was conducted on January 2012 to announce the progress of the Social Land Concession application to people on the project site. To date, 117 land plots have been measured, 115 out of the 117 land plots have already undergone soil filling, and 55 of the 115 families have completed building their houses.

Aside from the housing and infrastructure support, the project puts emphasis on the improvement of community livelihood through the formation of Saving Groups (SG). To date, the SG has increased from 3 to 7 groups and each of them by now has drafted their business plans. The BTB Project aims to provide loans to SGs based on their business plans and the return payment will be used within the community as revolving fund.

On its extension, the project aims to complete the provision of land certificates to at least 256 families (as targeted by World Bank), the procurement of infrastructure including the construction of 8 lines of streets and 16 drainage systems (along 8 road lines) and building of 3 community centers in 3 villages. This is also the year when the project will launch housing loan service through a partnership with an MFI, and the provision of water and electricity connections to around 200 families and housing kit (zinc for making roof). A documentary video will also be produced as a learning tool for civil society, government and NGO practitioners about the proper facilitation of Social Land Concession within urban areas in Cambodia. The project will continue to raise awareness amongst families about complying with requirements needed in order for them to receive their permanent land title after 10 years of residing in area.

The Battambang project aims to develop and test community-based mechanisms and procedures for civil society and government collaboration for land tenure security, shelter improvement and livelihood support. This project is currently working on three different villages including 13 Markara, O-Kcheay, and Camcar Russy villages, Prek Preah Sdach Commune in Battambang City, Battambang Province, and caters to 334 families living on the site. The project started in 2008 and supported by Japan Social Development Fund through the World Bank.

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