The Smokey Mountain

The King is Dead, Long Live the King. The Phnom Penh municiple dump in Stung Meanchey, Cambodia closed in 2009, and many may say thank god. This was an horrific place, where the poorest of the poor, eked a living from sifting the garbage for recyclables like plastic, glass and metals. The dump still exists but has been moved to a new location several kilmetres outside of the city and the people who worked on the old dump have not been allowed to move with it. No scavenging is allowed on the new area.2857705044This is certainly good news, in many ways, but what happens to those people who worked as scavengers and now have no resources or skills to fall back on, is their life made better ? Where do they turn ? I am sure NGO’s such as The People Improvement Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund,For the Smile of Child,Pour un Sourire d’Enfant, will do what they can to help, but I doubt there is any central support planned. It is my intention that this be an introduction to a series of follow up articles where I will endevour to find out what has become of the scavengers and how they are surviving without access to the dump.

2856868753_3c0bf1850a_oMany, I understand, still live around the old dump area in Stung Meanchey. Have their lives improved or are they living even more desperate and impoverished existence ? Have those who came from Rural Cambodia returned to their former homes ? These are just some of the questions that I would like to find answers too, but, I am sure many more unanswered question will be raised during the course of my research.

© Ian Kydd’Miller
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