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Drought ravages west

DROUGHT is ravaging parts of Pursat and Battambang provinces, destroying thousands of hectares of rice paddies, say local officials.

"My province is facing big droughts in a few districts. The rice plants can now be burned because thousands of hectares have died," said Pursat provincial Governor Chhay Sareth.

"If there is no rain this week, thousands more hectares of rice will die." He said local authorities were helping by pumping water into the rice paddies, but that lakes were drying up due to the demand.

Cheam Chan Saphon, director of Battambang province's Agriculture Department, said his province has lost 13,000 hectares, and that rice seeds were being distributed to farmers whose crops were lost.

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