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Better disaster management urged

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Thousands have been rescued or forced to flee their homes because of recent flooding. Photo supplied

Better disaster management urged

Prime Minister Hun Sen called on citizens to prevent natural disasters as the Kingdom grapples with rain-induced floods, which have affected thousands of people across the country.

Hun Sen made the call on National Disaster Management Day on Tuesday, which was honoured under the theme “Living in safety and resilience to disasters”.

National Disaster Management Day was established to inspire people all over the globe to participate in disaster management. The aim of the day is to raise the awareness of mitigating disaster risks.

In a letter, the prime minister said peace also plays a key role.

“A splendid success that the government has so far achieved depends on the foundation of peace that is valued by the Cambodian people. ‘Appreciate Peace’. Without it, the challenges to disasters would even be stronger. It seriously affects human lives and development. Therefore, we have to continue maintaining peace under all circumstances.”

Hun Sen said natural disasters happen almost every year such as floods, droughts, rainstorms and epidemic diseases. The disasters had seriously damaged roads and budgets. They had also affected socio-economic situations and people’s lives.

He added that it is necessary for people to prepare and carry out various measures that competent institutions had laid out to stop natural and man-made disasters.

“Climate change in the future is uncertain and unpredictable. [We] are of one mind to strive to manage [these] disasters. Starting from each citizen and each family, we join as the master of local communities to live in safety and resilience to the disasters,” the letter read.

Hun Sen also instructed local authorities at all levels to continue sharing knowledge with each other. They have to urge people to protect their health, personal hygiene and live in a clean and good environment. Additionally, forces at all levels have to be prepared to respond to disasters.

Environmental expert Hem Oudam said the reduction of ongoing disasters needs participation from all sides. The government should conduct an in-depth study and protect nature sustainably such as forests, rivers, lakes and other resources. The governemnt should restore these resources in order for Cambodia to stay clear of the disasters in the future.

“These disasters are natural. But if it happens because of humans, this is what we have to talk about at length. In this talk, the senior leadership made mention of the participation of relevant institutions,” he said.

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