Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government prepared for floods amid rainy season

Government prepared for floods amid rainy season

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NCDM first vice-president Kun Kim said at the launch of the Platform for Real-time Information Systems (Prism) over the weekend. FN

Government prepared for floods amid rainy season

The National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) launched a new information-sharing system over the weekend to safeguard vulnerable citizens against floods and natural disasters amid the rainy season.

Areas along the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers were identified as higher-risk locations.

Speaking at the launch of the Platform for Real-time Information Systems (Prism) over the weekend, NCDM first vice-president Kun Kim said improving Cambodia’s disaster response was necessary to avoid accidents affecting citizens.

Kim announced several new measures to be taken, including “early warning of impending floods, preparing [rescue] forces and prepping materials to save vulnerable people.

“We must minimise risk and take action to recover after floods,” he said.

NCDM spokesman Khun Sokha told The Post on Monday that all relevant departments and authorities at all levels will be required to use the Prism system.

He said relevant parties, especially sub-national authorities, must prepare their disaster response strategies promptly.

“The rainy season starts from June, so at this time we cannot predict exactly what will happen during the rainy season this year.

“We can only estimate that serious flooding is likely to occur between August and September, which is when we need to be careful. Evacuation sites and resources must be prepared,” he said.

Sokha said provincial-level authorities need to know their action plans, and if an impending disaster posed a serious threat, national authorities need to be prepared to efficiently execute their plan.

Citing the NCDM’s assessment, he said areas most likely to be affected by the floods are along the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers.

Sokha said although current water levels throughout the country are normal, the NCDM continues to monitor them regularly to ensure that an emergency can be declared at the earliest possible moment.

Lover Environment and Society Association president Chum Hout said in the past, locals did not have much access to information when a flood occurred.

He said if sub-national and national authorities do not collaborate, the same problem may occur again.

“Previously, officials at the ministry-level relied on the sub-levels without directly inspecting areas. So when people are suffering, it [the response] won’t be effective. Some gaps led to repeated cases of citizens suffering,” he said.

Hout said to reduce and prevent the risk of flooding, the authorities must inform people living in flood-prone areas promptly and take appropriate rescue measures.

He said if the new measures put forward by the NCDM can be implemented, the floods can be addressed. He said infrastructure in vulnerable areas should also be developed with possible floods in mind.

Last August, nearly 8,000 families and some 8,000ha of agricultural land in eight provinces were affected by flooding and strong winds.

The provinces were Battambang, Kampong Thom, Kep, Koh Kong, Mondulkiri, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Ratanakkiri, with the last three being the hardest hit.

The NCDM said at the time that 7,999 families, 6,898 houses and 5,447 animals were affected. Flooding affected some 8,000ha of paddy fields and other crops while some 300ha suffered moderate damage.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10