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Officials urge disaster readiness

Officials urge disaster readiness

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Villagers in Kampong Thom province carry donations from the Red Cross through floodwaters left by Typhoon Ketsana last year.

Flood-prevention plan in four provinces touted as an example to follow.

OFFICIALS with the National Committee on Disaster Management on Tuesday urged all provinces to adopt strategies to reduce the potential impact of natural disasters, citing as an example a flood-prevention plan implemented in four provinces in 2006 that they said had been particularly effective.

“Creating a plan for preparedness and reducing the risk of disasters at the provincial and district level is a very important responsibility that will allow all of the people to live in peace,” Peou Samy, the NCDM’s secretary general, said at the beginning of a two-day conference on disaster preparedness.

Funded by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, the flood-prevention plan adopted in Kandal, Prey Veng, Kratie and Svay Rieng provinces involved the expansion of irrigation systems and the building of roads and public services on elevated terrain.

Loy Rego, deputy executive director of the ADPC, said Cambodia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the region, but that officials have made efforts in some areas despite limited resources.

Peou Samy said at the conference that last year’s Typhoon Ketsana caused US$53 million in crop damage, much of which was from flooding.

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