Thanks to a crowd-sourcing campaign spearheaded by grassroots map developers Urban Voice Cambodia, residents of Phnom Penh can now access a map pinpointing flood-prone areas in the capital during rainy season.
Updated online yesterday, the map was generated by citizens, who contributed 119 reports of flooding over a three-month period, said Ny Sovann, a media project manager for the organisation.
“We gathered reports from August through October last year and then used our online mapping software to illustrate where residents should be careful next year,” Sovann said, adding the map is available in both Khmer and English.
Chamkarmon, Prampi Makara, Toul Kork, Daun Penh and Sen Sok are all highlighted as districts that are particularly prone to flooding.
Urban Voice uses mapping technology from Kenyan company Ushahidi, which drew inspiration from US-based urban mapping site SeeClickFix, which provides a platform for citizens to report urban issues directly to their government, said Sovann.
“We started working on the flooding map so people can self-organise in this city.… We want to help develop this place,” he said.
Efforts to expand the project in collaboration with city officials this year are in the early planning stages, Sovann added.
The organisation aspires in the future to design a similar platform connecting residents to their elected representatives.
Togo Uchida, a project formulation adviser in charge of environment and climate change at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which has worked with City Hall since 1999 to repair and expand the city’s drainage system, said he welcomed any new information on flooding in the capital.
He added that JICA and City Hall had completed just over 50 per cent of new pipe installations in Phnom Penh as part of the third phase of the city’s Flood Protection and Drainage Improvement Project.
Seng Solady, a program assistant at JICA’s infrastructure division, said that ongoing repairs to the drainage system were “right on target”.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHHAY CHANNYDA