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Drought affects 13 provinces

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Authorities dredge the canal to keep water flow into the rice field.

Drought affects 13 provinces

Drought has affected about 20,000ha of rice fields in 13 provinces, with Kampong Cham being the most affected, said National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy on Sunday.

Vy said early in the rainy season, torrential rain nationwide caused flooding and damage to roads and thousands of hectares of rice plantations.

However, in the middle of the rainy season, rainfall decreases and the drought begins in some locations, worsening towards the end of the season when lakes and ponds evaporate quickly.

This is what triggered the water shortage in 13 provinces where 19,000ha of rice fields cannot get enough water. Kampong Cham is the worst affected province with 9,000ha of rice fields, followed by Battambang, Tbong Khmum and Kampong Thom.

Oung Samut, a farmer in Prey Preal village, Khlang Meas commune, in Bavel district, Battambang, told The Post on Sunday that 500ha of her rice plantation and those of Prey Preal villagers are growing well, even though they lacked water.

“At the moment, we are deeply concerned because if there is no water within the next 10 days, the rice plantations will be affected,” she said.

Samut said on Saturday experts in the agriculture and water resources departments and relevant authorities brought an excavator to dredge the canals located on both sides of the road in order to save their rice plantation.

However, she said she is unsure if the water will get there in time.

Kampong Thom provincial agriculture department head Thiv Vanthy told The Post on Sunday that the drought-affected 2,000ha of rice plantations in Baray district.