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Flood victims falling sick

Several flood evacuees in Kampong Thom province have fallen ill as reports surfaced concerning unsanitary conditions at temporary shelters.

As the death toll from the recent floods climbed to 11 people yesterday, aid workers expressed fear over the current living conditions for evacuees in the province’s Prasat Sambor district – some of whom lack proper shelter and amenities.

“We do not have toilets, so we are worried that we will get infectious diseases,” World Vision volunteer and flood evacuee Chhem Chhin said.

He also said villagers were in need of forms of shelter, such as tents, and more water containers, a few of which were supplied by WV.

“The evacuees need water containers, but we are not able distribute any more,” he said.

Tep Tang Oeun, a councillor at Prasat Sambor district’s Sambor commune, said that Sambor health centre had delivered 100 mosquito nets and available medicine to affected families in the commune but some were falling sick.

“Some of them [evacuees] have diarrhea and fever,” he said.

Officials are, however, working towards improving conditions.

Director of disaster management for the Cambodian Red Cross Uy Sam Ath said yesterday that Caritas Cambodia was working with the Red Cross to deliver aid to more than 1,000 of the most affected families across Kampong Thom.

Last week, officials at the Ministry of Water Resources issued warnings to people living along the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers, as well as the Tonle Sap lake, stating that the areas were on high alert as flood waters continued to claim lives.  

Keo Vy, Cabinet Director for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said yesterday that five of 11 people who have died as a result of the flooding so far were under the age of 14.

He also said that 4,672 families were reported to have been affected by flood waters and 1,777 families in Kampong Thom had been evacuated from their homes.

An estimated 647 homes, 22 schools, 17,185 hectares of rice paddies and 54 kilometres of road had also been damaged.



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