Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Myriad flood challenges remain

Myriad flood challenges remain

Schoolchildren affected by flooding walk through Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district last week
Schoolchildren affected by flooding walk through Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district last week. VIREAK MAI

Myriad flood challenges remain

As the flood levels recede in most of the 20 affected provinces, victims continue facing scores of recovery challenges including sanitation, food security, health and shelter concerns, as well as a lack of potable water.

In its fourth report on the flood situation, released yesterday, the Humanitarian Response Forum – a network including the United Nations and NGOs – found the flooding caused 168 deaths and affected over 1.7 million people, shuttering 1,390 schools and 78 hospitals and health centres.

Some US$1 billion of property and infrastructure damage was sustained, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM).

“The water levels are down, but not 100 per cent of families can go back to their homelands yet,” Uy Sam Ath, director of Cambodian Red Cross disaster management, said.

Battambang and Bantey Meanchey remain heavily affected, with several villages still inundated at water levels not seen in previous floods.

“The situation here is still very dire,” Raymong Chhim, program director for the Battambang-based Puthi Komar Organisation, said.

Immediate needs, according to the forum report, include damage assessment, health screenings, food and drinking water distribution, and repairs to infrastructure.

“Most of the wells were contaminated, so very many villages were left without any source of drinking water,” Leng Vireak, senior manager of disaster response at World Vision, said.

Though 85 per cent of schools closed due to the flooding are now reopened, according to the NCDM, 400 schools remained closed as of Monday.

The flooding has also increased exposure to unexploded ordnance (UXO), with flash floods washing explosives from uncleared to demined areas; the forum reported one UXO and two anti-tanks mines have been found in Battambang.

“We need to ensure that not just emergency relief is provided, but also recovery aid so that families can return to their regular life,” Vireak said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SEN DAVID

MOST VIEWED

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They