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Rain cuts Banteay Meanchey drought

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A dry riverbed is shown in Banteay Meanchey province in 2016. Hong Menea

Rain cuts Banteay Meanchey drought

While 600 hectares of farmland has dried up in Banteay Meanchey province’s Thmar Puok district, as the region’s nearly month-long drought took its toll, local officials on Monday were optimistic that Sunday evening’s rainfall will spare the rest of the district’s fields.

Farmers in the district were facing a critical problem as there was a lack of water supply for their crops after receiving no rain since late June.

“There were heavy rains almost every day in May and June. Many parts in districts were flooding because of the rain and water flowing in from the Thai border,” said Chhuot Tha, Thmar Puok deputy district governor. “Suddenly, the sky stopped raining, which created an obstacle for the farmers,”

He said while there are five reservoir systems to store water, authorities only released water from them during the dry season.

Dieb Chhoun, the district governor, said Sunday’s rain had already improved matters.

“We are hoping it will rain more to supply enough water for the crops or we will inform the provincial government if it gets worse because one night of rain is not enough,” he said.

Pang Vannaseth, the director of the provincial Agriculture Department, said his people were monitoring the situation closely.

“Even though it rained last night, some areas didn’t get any. We will see whether the problem gets worse or not. We will find solutions if [the drought continues],” he said.

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