Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Drought ‘unlikely’ in ’17

Drought ‘unlikely’ in ’17

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A child carries water from a pool in Banteay Meanchey province last year after drought conditions in Cambodia caused widespread water shortages. Hong Menea

Drought ‘unlikely’ in ’17

This year’s early rains and a swift response to drought-like conditions in two provinces will spare Cambodia the searing droughts that plagued it in 2015 and 2016, the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) said yesterday, though one development partner cautioned that lasting drought preparedness will require stronger financial commitment.

This year’s unseasonably early rains and the dissipation of the El Niño weather patterns responsible for last year’s severe water shortages mean that Cambodia “has no drought this year”, according to NCDM spokesman Keo Vy.

Nevertheless, said Vy, some districts in Prey Veng and Banteay Meanchey provinces experienced a “rainfall shortage”. Nop Polin, a program officer for Dan Church Aid Cambodia, agreed that water shortages are less likely this year.

At present, said Polin, his organisation provides subsistence farmers with capital and training to sell their crops as a financial cushion for droughts in Kampong Speu. However, he said a lack of funding from the Cambodian government stands in the way of adequately preparing for future droughts.

Kampong Speu Governor Vi Samnang acknowledged limitations in the national government’s budget as hampering drought preparedness. “Presently, we are renovating the irrigation system to tackle droughts and floods,” he said. “But we cannot ask for the budget from the government because not only our province faces this problem.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the

  • Royal Group's Koh Rong luxury hotel officially opens

    The Royal Sands Koh Rong hotel on Monday marked its official launch as the first luxury resort on Cambodia’s most visited island. Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the inauguration of the hotel, which has been open since December, and features rooms priced at