Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM: Worse natural disasters outcome of climate change

PM: Worse natural disasters outcome of climate change

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Residents try to save their belongings from floodwaters in Dangkor commmune of the capital’s Dangkor district in October last year. Heng Chivoan

PM: Worse natural disasters outcome of climate change

Prime Minister Hun Sen instructed his subordinates to strengthen natural disaster management mechanisms with an increased focus on risk mitigation as a means of reducing the overall level of damage caused by such events.

He said the authorities need to be ready to respond to an increasing number of natural disasters and to be ready to deal with natural disasters of unusual severity because of the impacts of climate change, with particular attention paid to planning in advance the means to protect vulnerable people such as the poor, elderly, children and those with disabilities as well as building the capacity to launch fast-reaction rescue missions when necessary.

Hun Sen offered his commentary in a letter written to commemorate National Disaster Management Day on October 13, which was held this year under the theme of “Increasing Disaster Risk Preparedness for the Safety and Resilience of Villages and Communes.”

Hun Sen wrote that the entire world – with Cambodia no different – has had to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic for the past two years while other kinds of natural disasters were also happening – in some places at previously unforeseen rates and alarming intensity – such as wildfires, storms and floods all bringing the destruction of property and loss of lives those events entail.

He noted that the government hadn’t remained idle in response and that much work had already been completed in areas like water resource management and the restoration of irrigation and drainage systems like reservoirs, canals, dams and flood gates.

“The government has also improved its mechanisms for the prediction of severe weather events and modernized our technological systems for disseminating this information to the public. As a result we can say that our ability to make weather predictions that are both accurate and timely in order to reduce the impacts of disasters caused by flooding or droughts has improved greatly.

“The government also has had some successes with research on improving our methods for cultivation of rice and other crops and developing types that are capable of adapting to climate change,” he said.

Hun Sen urged the public to be aware of their local situation by communicating with local authorities often and to take care of the environment’s hygiene and health as they would their personal health through orderly and appropriate management of rubbish and solid waste.

He emphasized the need to reduce the nation’s overall usage of plastic products because of their environmental impacts and specifically the problems that plastic and rubbish are causing in Cambodia’s flood drainage systems.

“I urge the private sector, development partners and civil society organizations to continue to cooperate with the government and with each other to mobilize resources necessary for effectively mitigating disasters and increasing resilience to climate change,” he said.

He also urged the media to widely broadcast news of emergency weather forecasts and to prominently feature any information or official warnings that could be of immediate impact to public safety anywhere in the nation, such as the level of the waters in Stung Sre Pok River, for example.

According to the NCDM’s figures for the first eight months of this year, 94 people have died and at least 158 others have been injured by natural disasters including fires, storms and lightning strikes.

The report said 7,800 residential homes and 220 schools, factories and public administration buildings have also been destroyed by these disasters.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42