Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rainy season timing blamed

Villagers tend to their flooded crops in Kandal province last week
Villagers tend to their flooded crops in Kandal province last week. The National Committee for Disaster Management yesterday warned that though floods are receding, they could return. Heng Chivoan

Rainy season timing blamed

Floods have claimed 45 lives and forced over 11,500 families to leave their homes as of August 19, according to National Committee for Disaster Management vice president Nhim Vanda, who spoke yesterday at a conference in the Cambodiana Hotel dedicated to addressing the problem.

The floods have come early in Cambodia this year. They usually begin around mid-September, like last year, when 168 people were killed.

Vanda said that even though waters are currently receding across the country, it is possible the floods will come back at the end of September and in early October, with potentially devastating results.

“If there are storms and rain like there were in 2013, there will be a high risk of poverty and hardship, the prime minister told me,” Vanda said.

According to Caroline McCausland, country director for Action Aid, if floods come again, farmers affected by the current round could see their food security at risk.

“Many farmers can replant in mid-September, but if the floods come back, it will cause migration and an increased poverty cycle,” she said, adding that no one was certain whether the floods would return.

Claire Van der Vaeren, the UN’s resident coordinator in Cambodia, said this year’s weather has been unusual, with floods coming in early and water shortages affecting 10 provinces along with Phnom Penh.

“This year’s rainy season has the particularity of bringing both flooding and drought, making the role of the National Committee’s task force all the more critical,” Van der Vaeren said.

Some at the conference blamed climate change for the irregular weather and called for aid from richer, high-polluting countries.

“This is surely the impact of climate change. It’s [only] August,” said Cambodian Red Cross director of disaster management Uy Sam Ath.

“If a second flood comes again according to predictions, then it’s not over yet. So we are still in need of support to save people.”

Vanda agreed, saying that Cambodia needed funds to combat extreme weather caused by climate change.

“I don’t blame the powerful countries [for climate change] – if I did they wouldn’t give us assistance,” Vanda said.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

garment protest

Global labour demonstration

Garment workers demanding a $177 minimum monthly wage take to the streets in Phnom Penh with support in cities across the world.

ONE FC

ONE FC hits the Kingdom

Three Cambodian fighters prepare for one of the biggest sporting events ever held in Phnom Penh.

techfest

Getting high tech in Phnom Penh

On Monday, creative, tech-savy Cambodians got together to exhibit Apps, drones and cameras helping tackle social, environmental and political issues in Cambodia at a USAID backed innovation show.

This month 20 years ago...

1994-09-09 07:00
Thais to block KR leaders
1994-09-23 07:00
Author charts work of peacekeepers
1994-09-23 07:00
Japan to study $120m Mekong bridge plan
1994-09-09 00:00
Appeal for peace
1994-09-09 07:00
Aids workers fears over vice crackdown
1994-08-26 07:00
Tragic find