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Rice farmers dig canals to fight floods

Farmers dig ditches to divert floodwaters from their paddy fields in Prey Veng province. Photo supplied
Farmers dig ditches to divert floodwaters from their paddy fields in Prey Veng province. Photo supplied

Rice farmers dig canals to fight floods

Farmer in Prey Veng’s Svay Antor and Pea Reang and Kanh Chriech districts began digging canals this week to save their rice fields from heavy rains.

Prey Kla Commune Chief Sao Thai said villagers in his commune began digging the canals two days ago, after nearly two weeks of rainfall flooded 3,000 hectares of rice fields in the three districts.

According to Thai, officials from the provincial Water Resources Department began digging canals last weekend but failed to dig deep enough.

“We cannot just excavate canals to drain the water out. [The fields are at] the deepest point of the creek . . . all the water will be drained out,” explained Department Director Chum Sophy.

Yeang Eun a farmer from Prey Khla commune, criticised the officials for digging canals in areas that she said experienced little flooding. Ultimately, she said, the villagers decided to grab hoes to dig the canals themselves.

Yesterday, Svay Antor District Governor Doch Kunthea visited the area, advising commune and village chiefs and farmers to close the canals once the rains subsided.

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