Rickety river homes

Rickety river homes

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The bright lights of Phnom Penh glow in the distance beyond a mother and child from Cambodia's ethnic Cham Muslim minority, as they sit together in a dimly lit boat.

They belong to a community of around 100 Cham families made up of nomads and fishermen without houses or land, who arrived in the Cambodian capital in search of better lives and now live in small vessels just opposite the city centre.

. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

The community leads a precarious existence, having already been forced to move several times from locations in Phnom Penh as land in the city becomes more valuable.

They fear that their current home, just behind a luxurious hotel that is under construction, is only temporary and that they may have to relocate again soon.

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Slideshow

A man from the Cham community, which makes up most of the small Muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Cambodia, stands on a flight of steps by the banks of Tonle Sap River.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A man from the Cham community, which makes up most of the small Muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Cambodia, stands on a flight of steps by the banks of Tonle Sap River.

Children belonging to the group of around 100 Cham families living on a peninsula where the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers meet pass the time near their boats.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Children belonging to the group of around 100 Cham families living on a peninsula where the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers meet pass the time near their boats.

Others from the community sit by their vessels.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Others from the community sit by their vessels.

A Cham Muslim woman plays with her baby on the river bank.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A Cham Muslim woman plays with her baby on the river bank.

Children walk along the Tonle Sap River.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Children walk along the Tonle Sap River.

A Cham Muslim woman fixes a fishing net.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A Cham Muslim woman fixes a fishing net.

A man from the community sets up a net in the Mekong River.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A man from the community sets up a net in the Mekong River.

A Cham Muslim woman sits on her boat.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A Cham Muslim woman sits on her boat.

A woman holds out a plate of fish for the iftar meal, eaten by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan to break their fast after sundown.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A woman holds out a plate of fish for the iftar meal, eaten by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan to break their fast after sundown.

A Cham Muslim woman holds a chicken.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A Cham Muslim woman holds a chicken.

The exact times of the five daily prayers attended by members of the Muslim group are written on a small board at a makeshift mosque.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

The exact times of the five daily prayers attended by members of the Muslim group are written on a small board at a makeshift mosque.

Men from the community pray together.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Men from the community pray together.

Cham Muslims break their fast during Ramadan with an iftar meal on the banks of the Tonle Sap river.
. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Cham Muslims break their fast during Ramadan with an iftar meal on the banks of the Tonle Sap river.