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Drought fears persist despite rainstorms

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A view of Stung Sangke stream in Battambang Province on October 07, 2020. Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology

Drought fears persist despite rainstorms

Prime Minister Hun Sen urged farmers and relevant local authorities to store water in reservoirs to avoid running low in the coming dry season.

Hun Sen made the remarks on Wednesday during the inauguration of the Prince Manor entertainment complex located on National Road 1 in Kandal province.

He said according to the weather forecast of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, a low-pressure system from the South China Sea was expected to hit Vietnam on Wednesday causing more rain to fall in Cambodia.

However, he said the river levels are still low, which requires well-organised water storage systems to store water for the dry season.

“Our river levels now are very low compared to previous years, about 4m to 5m lower. So I urge people to work together to consider ways to preserve water,” he said.

The prime minister urged relevant ministries and professional institutions to consider strategic stockpiling to be ready to respond to the shortages. He also urged storm preparation.

“We need to stock up on soy sauce, noodles, rice and all kinds of vegetables and medicines to save our people from starving,” he said.

Kampong Chhnang provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director Ngin Hun told The Post on Wednesday that his department’s strategy was to cooperate with the Department of Water Resources and Meteorology and other relevant departments under its jurisdiction.

He said the Kampong Chhnang Provincial Administration inspected water sources in lakes, canals and canal systems to take measurements to prevent water retention or open drains to prevent the flooding of rice fields.

“Of course, the recent rains have caused the Tonle Sap and some tributaries of the river to rise slightly, but not as much as in previous years. This is what we are worried about. This season farmers have planted more than 130,000ha of rice, which is more than 10,000ha over the plan,” Hun Sen said.

According to Ngin Hun, his department has cooperated with the water resources department and the Department of Public Works and Transport in Kampong Chhnang province to prepare to pump water from some streams and rivers into reservoirs.

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