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Organisations push for disaster draft law

Anti-poverty NGO ActionAid and DIPECHO, the disaster relief arm of the European Commission, are urging the government to pass a draft law that will outline disaster-response plans in the Kingdom.

DIPECHO head Andrew Martin, speaking at a disaster reporting workshop for journalists yesterday, said the law would improve disaster response time and tie all the elements of emergency response and public information together.

“When the draft law is approved, officials will be able to better provide immediate assistance to victims during natural disasters,” he said, noting that the law was widely anticipated by all disaster-response stakeholders.

Keo Vy, head of the National Committee for Disaster Management, said the committee was putting the finishing touches to the law.

“Once we finish, we will send it to the Council of Ministers for it to be approved,” he said.

Martin also noted that journalists were a vital link in the disaster-response chain, as the public had to be well informed in times of emergency.

Yesterday’s workshop was designed to train reporters and government officials to work together during disaster response efforts, ActionAid country director Caroline McCausland said.

“Sometimes, reporters are not as interested in small-scale disasters, as compared to widespread ones, but we have to remember that, small or large, they affect people,” McCausland said.

For instance, villages in Banteay Meanchey flooded regularly in the wet season.

These floods ccould become dangerous if the flooded areas  were also mined, and proper public information would keep residents safe, she said.

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Sen David at david.sen@phnompenhpost.com
 

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