Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed his feelings that the National Day for Disaster Management, observed on October 13, should serve as an occasion for the people of the Kingdom to reflect on previous challenges on the country’s journey to peace.
The day is also marked as the ASEAN Day for Disaster Management and the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, marked under the theme “Together to improve the balance of localizations for disaster resilience.”
“I believe that the National Day for Disaster Management will inspire memories of the long path we have travelled as a country. From the terrible man-made disasters of war, to the peaceful, prosperous and proud nation we are today, we continue to move forward together,” he said.
“The world is severely affected by climate change, which causes natural disasters, affects lives and property and has severe socio-economic impacts. This is compounded by the fragility of the global economic recovery from Covid-19,” he added.
He said that almost every year, Cambodia is affected by floods, droughts, wind, lightning strikes, river bank collapses and other disasters. However, the government has placed a high priority on disaster management work and is always prepared to intervene to assist its people.
In order for future disaster management work to be successful – in accordance with the win-win strategies of the government – Hun Sen set out some important points.
He called on his compatriots to continue to protect themselves by observing the new normal. This meant making sure their vaccinations were up to date and that they were practicing the three dos and don’ts. They should live clean lives within the framework of safe villages and communes.
The Prime Minister said it is important to remain vigilant in the face of disasters and to pay attention to warnings, whether in the form of forecasts or government announcements.
“Activities should be planned so as to mitigate risk to individuals and their families. Homes and businesses should be well maintained, and strengthened to better resist unexpected disasters,” he added.
He called on the National Committee for Disaster Management (NACD) to coordinate the formation of a national policy on social responsibility in disaster management in the private sector, suggesting that this would provide an opportunity for investors, business owners, national and international entrepreneurs who are doing businesses in Cambodia to make greater contributions in disaster management.
He also instructed the NACD to work with the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to strengthen and expand the food reserve system in Cambodia to ensure that victims will not experience food insecurity. He insisted that seeds be stored to restore agriculture losses and then cash reserves be held, to address other non-seed food needs.
He tasked the NACD with organising National Day for Disaster Management ceremonies, saying they should publicise the day through the media to educate the public.
According to the NACD, recent flooding occurred in 22 provinces, with hundreds of people evacuated and four lives lost. Many schools were temporarily closed and some infrastructure was damaged.
Floods inundated more than 150,000ha of rice fields and more than 41,000ha of mixed crops. Kun Kim, first vice-president of the committee, said it was important to support the recovery of the affected farmers, first by ensuring they had the seeds they needed to replant their land.