We are back in Cambodia for a few days, to prepare for the up coming trip in June, when we will take another 50 students here to serve at a number of NGOs for a week.
The infamous Stung Meanchey Garbage Dump, where people foraged for recyclable material among the garbage, had been closed. Since no new garbage is being dumped there, very few people scavenge there now, even though thousands of people continue to live around there. We surveyed one of the communities next to the dump for an NGO last year. The horrible conditions that they live in and their negative outlook on life - particularly for the children - were gut-wrenching.
We heard that a new garbage dump has been started at Cheung Ek, right next to the Killing Fields. When we tried to get there this afternoon, all side roads leading to the dump were blocked, so we couldn’t get close to it. But the mountain of garbage, the trucks disgorging the fresh garbage, and some of the scavengers could be seen from the main road.
How much longer do people have to live this way? Why?