The National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) has deployed 82,500 people from various government ministries and marshaled resources such as 1,106 trucks, 320 long speed boats and 179 short speed boats to help rescue people from natural disasters.
The plan was revealed by first NCDM vice-president Kun Kim on September 7 during a workshop under the theme “Getting Ready for Floods in 2021 and Beyond with Anticipatory Action and Shock Responsive Social protection”, which discussed the use of pre-disaster action approach and social protection programmes in response to emergencies.
“NCDM has already prepared personnel and stockpiled seeds for rice, vegetables and other mixed crops, and stored some food reserves to help people affected by floods that could happen at the end of the rainy season,” he said.
The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and NCDM, and attended by officials from relevant ministries, national and international institutions.
According to the NCDM report, Cambodia was severely affected by flooding in communities across the country last year, with Banteay Meanchey province experiencing the worst impacts. At least 222,892 families were affected and 17,517 were evacuated to safe places. The floods also caused 58 deaths.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon said his ministry has prepared 2,000 tonnes of rice seeds and 25 tonnes of cash crops seeds to help farmers affected by natural disasters.
“In recent decades, the agricultural sector has grown significantly. However, this sector is also facing some major challenges, especially with natural disasters, including floods, drought, thunderstorm, communicable diseases and pests that destroy farmers’ crops every year.
“For this year, the government, through the Cambodia Food Reserve System, has prepared 2,000 tonnes of non-seasonal early mature rice seeds and vegetable seeds and 25 tonnes of other cash crops for assistance to farmers affected by crop damages due to natural disasters,” he said.
Kong Kea, general-director of rice crops under the agriculture ministry, told The Post that the 2,000 tonnes of non-seasonal rice seeds were packed in 80,000 sacks, weighing 25kg each and stored in the warehouse of his department.
The 25 tonnes of cash crops, he said, consist of 12 types of vegetable seeds including corn, Yardlong beans, white Edible Amaranth, kale, guard, morning glory, squash, pumpkin, eggplant and tomatoes in 595,000 small packages stored at the Kbal Koh vegetable production station in Kandal province until distribution.
“The preparation of these rice seeds and crops will provide help for poor farming families affected by natural disasters, floods and droughts for replanting to support their livelihoods,” he said.
He said that at present, officials are working with local authorities to compile statistics on the actual impacts and damages to assess and estimate the area to be rehabilitated, including statistics on specific poor farming families to ensure intervention in providing seeds for the restoration.
Siem Reap province has been hit hard by recent drought, affecting a total area of 6,600ha with 2,880ha completely damaged, according to provincial agriculture department director Tea Kim Soth.
“Based on the weather conditions and actual location, our team provided five tonnes of rice seeds, five tonnes of fertiliser and five tonnes of pesticides to 200 poor farming families in Chi Kraeng district for replanting,” he said on September 7.
He added that his department has also submitted a request for an additional 30 tonnes of rice seeds, vegetables and cash crops from the NCDM and agriculture ministry to prepare to respond to natural disasters.