Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t drought relief efforts can’t reach 500,000 people

Gov’t drought relief efforts can’t reach 500,000 people

Authorities in Banteay Meanchey fill containers with water late last month for distribution to the public after the province was hit by a water shortage. National Police
Authorities in Banteay Meanchey fill containers with water late last month for distribution to the public after the province was hit by a water shortage. National Police

Gov’t drought relief efforts can’t reach 500,000 people

Around 500,000 Cambodians who face water shortages still have not received government assistance since drought relief efforts began on April 26, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management.

The committee’s first vice president, Nhem Vanda, yesterday said the government was assisting 80 per cent of the estimated 2.5 million people (about 600,000 families) affected by the ongoing water crisis.

“We still will distribute the water to the people until they have water and it rains enough in the area,” Vanda said from Kampong Speu – one of 18 provinces facing shortages.

Since Prime Minister Hun Sen launched the water campaign on April 26, the government has spent 500 million riel (about $125,000) on water distribution to about 100 districts nationwide, Vanda said.

The government planned to spend another 500 million riel on distribution, as well as reservoir restoration and well-building.

Read: Scenes from a drought

According to the Ministry of Education’s director of primary education department, Chan Sophea, the ministry was in the process of assessing water needs within schools.

School hours have already been altered due to a heat wave.

“So far, 2,500 [primary and secondary] schools out of 10,000 are facing water shortages,” he said.

Thai newspaper the Nation reported on Wednesday that 26 Cambodians who were arrested for illegally crossing the border into Thailand told authorities that they were escaping severe drought conditions in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Siem Reap to seek employment in Bangkok.

Vanda admonished people not to politicise the drought, before immediately questioning why “other” parties were not helping out.

“I am disabled in one hand,” he continued, referring to his arm lost during the civil war, “but I could distribute water and hold water on my shoulder for the people. How about other parties?”

The apparent reference to the opposition echoed remarks made previously by Prime Minister Hun Sen, which he tripled down on in a speech yesterday.

“I do not dare call on the other parties to help people,” the premier said, before going on to appeal to “all members of the Cambodian People’s Party to continue to rescue people from lack of water”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures