Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Drought affects over 20,000ha paddies in Siem Reap province

Drought affects over 20,000ha paddies in Siem Reap province

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
While coastal provinces are bearing the brunt of floods caused by heavy rain, many northwest provinces, including Siem Reap, are suffering from drought. Photo supplied

Drought affects over 20,000ha paddies in Siem Reap province

While coastal provinces are bearing the brunt of floods caused by heavy rain, some northwest provinces including Siem Reap are suffering from drought.

Tea Kimsoth, the director of Siem Reap provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, told The Post on Tuesday that more than 20,000ha of paddy fields in the province have been affected and over 1,000ha ravaged.

He said the damage was caused by a lack of rain and irrigation systems.

Kimsoth said 175,720ha out of a total of 186,565ha of paddy fields planned for this year had been cultivated.

As of Tuesday, he said the drought had affected 20,867ha and damaged 1,045ha, taking its toll on a total of 24,019 families in 49 communes in the province’s nine towns and districts

The nine town and districts included Srei Snam, Sotr Nikum, Puok, Angkor Chum, Varin, Prasat Bakong, Angkor Thom, Kralanh districts and Siem Reap town.

“In Puok and Kralanh districts, if there is no rain within the next week, the effects and damage will build-up,” he said.

National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy told The Post on Tuesday that the drought is ongoing since early last month and affected numerous northwest provinces including Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey and Battambang.

“Rains fell only in some areas in Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey due to climate change. Battambang had the most rains but some districts still lacked water,” he said.

Among the northwest provinces that continued to suffer from drought, he said Siem Reap had seen the most damage as the province lacked an irrigation system.

Vy noted that the committee had not collected all the data from drought-stricken provinces as its working group was still occupied tending to provinces affected by floods.

Siem Reap provincial hall spokesman Ly Samrith could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

But Sok Thol, the deputy director of the provincial administration, said Siem Reap had faced a dry spell with no rain from July to early this month.

“We have not expanded our irrigation system to some areas, such as Puok and Kralanh districts, making it difficult for us to reach them. In some areas, farmers have expanded their rice cultivation so there are not enough water sources to help them,” he said.

Suos Narin, the provincial monitoring officer for rights group Adhoc, said many farmers in Siem Reap were unable to capitalise on the province’s largest water reservoir.

“The [West Baray] reservoir can supply water to irrigate agricultural land in the province, but farmers have no means to tap into it. So they rely mainly on rain, and when there is no rain there is no water. Some existing canals also dry out,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Sokha defence denies Tech’s claims

    ON DAY two of Kem Sokha’s treason trial, lawyers for the government said the defence had raised questions in an attempt to allow their client to make a public statement and a conclusion to the case, something his legal team denied. Ky Tech, a

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Good governance needed for sustainable growth

    Cambodia is one of the most successful countries in achieving high and rapid economic growth in Asia and the world. The average 7 per cent of annual GDP growth in the past two decades has lifted millions of people out of poverty. In 2015, Cambodia graduated from