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Water is pumped out of a river yesterday to be distributed to areas of Kampong Thom suffering from water shortages. Photo supplied
Water is pumped out of a river yesterday to be distributed to areas of Kampong Thom suffering from water shortages. Photo supplied

Kampong Thom communities facing water shortages

About 5,000 families in Kampong Thom’s Stoung district are facing water shortages as the hot El Niño climate pattern bakes Cambodia for the second consecutive year.

Proem Ratha, the district governor, said yesterday that while there is enough drinking water for the time being, some residents have to drive a considerable distance to get it, while many farmers don’t have enough for their crops.

District authorities have installed a pump and a generator to disperse water from the province’s Kanha reservoir into streams used by the seven parched communes.

“Now, we can handle the situation, but when it reaches May and June, it will be much more difficult, because the authorities do not have money to intervene,” Ratha warned.

In Kampong Thom, both Stoung and Prasat Balang districts are facing water shortages, according to the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.

Nationwide, there are 48 communes that may have insufficient water during this extreme dry season, according to undersecretary of state Bun Hean.

Hean said yesterday that his ministry has an ongoing project to reinforce the walls of the Kanha reservoir to retain more water.

He said a plan is also in the works to deepen the streams used by the shortage-affected Kampong Thom communes to increase water availability.

However, he could not provide a timeline or a budget for the project.

Additional reporting by Igor Kossov

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