Cambodia was urged by the special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction yesterday to prepare for an increase in floods, storms and lightning strikes as climate change affected global weather conditions.
Margareta Wahlström said in a meeting with National Committee for Disaster Management first vice chairman Nhim Vanda that she would call on Cambodia, as chair of ASEAN, to highlight this issue.
“I will ask the government of Cambodia to call on the prime ministers of ASEAN countries to call a conference that talks about how to reduce the risk of disaster,” she said.
According to the NCDM, 247 people were killed in last year’s floods and 1.64 million people were affected – 70,000 of whom were children.
One hundred thousand hectares of rice paddy had also been damaged.
An NCDM report released on Sunday states that in the first four months of 2012, 15 provinces were affected by storms and lightning.
242 houses were destroyed, 1,422 houses damaged and 21 people killed in storms or by lightning.
Nhim Vanda said that the disasters had presented a “huge” challenge.
To contact the reporter on this story: Khouth Sophak Chakrya at firstname.lastname@example.org