Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hungry villagers hit by more problems

Hungry villagers hit by more problems

Hungry villagers hit by more problems

V ILLAGERS struggling under the effects of near-famine in some areas are now also being battered by disease and other woes, according to NGO workers.

"Eating is more important than hygiene," one villager in Kompong Speu province told Pok Sa Em, a worker with the Khmer Buddhist Society Project Research.

Pok Sa Em said her organization and 14 other NGOs in provinces worst affected by drought were trying to help farmers push up from such difficult circumstances.

Villagers from such hard-hit provinces as Prey Veng, Takeo and Svay Rieng had moved to Kompong Speu to earn money cutting wood, she said.

Deaths had been recorded among the migrant workers there who were living rough, with insufficient food and no medicines, she said.

Many such people did not care about accepting advice on how important cleanliness and drinking safe water was, she said. They were more concerned about finding food, or making money for food.

The NGO workers had discussed the drought disaster with governors of ten badly hit provinces.

In addition to the lack of food and associated diseases, such as cholera and diarrhea, there was security problems, sickness among animals and increasing commodity prices, Pok Sa Em said.

Rice donations, meanwhile, have been welcomed but seem insufficient in many areas.

The Japanese government pledged $3 million to buy 9,500 tonnes of rice and Australia pledged $5.4 million for 10,000 tonnes, both donations are to be distributed by the World Food Program and Cambodian Red Cross.

Tep Narrory, the Prey Veng governor said that he has received 3,500 tonnes of donated rice recently but that was far from the 15,000 tonnes villagers in his area needed immediately. Priority had to be given to the elderly, children and the sick, he said.

Seng Seun, 35, a farmer with three children and sick wife, said what part of his rice fields that had escaped the floods had been finished off by the drought.

"I have nothing left. I have survived by rice given to me by my neighbor and the government. I don't know what to do next because I have no skill and money."

Seun said he has about one kilogram of rice left from the government donation he received in the last few weeks.

He said that his family have one meal a day, and added other fruits because he wanted to save his rice a bit longer.

Occasionally, he worked for other neighboring farmers but even they were struggling and could no longer pay in money or rice, he said.

Mr Narrory said that rice donations could only be used as emergency rations. Sooner or later, people would have to fend for themselves, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Aeon, Micromax partner again for third mall

    AEON Mall (Cambodia) Co Ltd and a locally-owned Micromax Co Ltd have entered into a partnership agreement to develop fibre optic infrastructure for $200 million Aeon Mall 3, which is expected to be opened in 2023. The agreement was signed on June 20 between Masayuki Tsuboya, managing director of

  • Walmart plans to diversify stock of Cambodia goods

    Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, on June 22 reiterated recent plans to scale up and greatly diversify its purchases of Cambodian products, according to the labour ministry. This came during a virtual working meeting between Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng and