Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN in talks, flood toll hits 164

UN in talks, flood toll hits 164

UN in talks, flood toll hits 164

111005_03
Men paddle through floodwaters created by severe rains near Doung Village mosque in the capital’s Russei Keo district.

As the official flood death toll rose to 164 yesterday, the government and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation began planning emergency food rations, rice seed supply and technical assistance for agricultural rehabilitation.

The newly-appointed FAO representative in Cambodia, Nina Brandstrup, met with Foreign Minister Hor Namhong to discuss the overall impact of the deadly floods.

“We need to wait for the water to recede before we find out how much damage was actually done to the crops  before the FAO know what to do, which areas to act in,” Brandstrup said.

“The government’s taskforce had been monitoring the impact of floodwaters, and identifying which villages need emergency food and rice seeds,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong told the Post.

The Foreign Minster has expressed concern that little will remain of the Kingdom’s annual target of three million tons of surplus rice, he added.

Cabinet Chief of the National Committee for Disaster Management Keo Vy said yesterday that more than 215,162 families had now been affected and 20,914 families evacuated.

He added that more than 135,000 houses, 424 pagodas, 904 schools, 161 bridges, 75 healthcare centres, and 244 kilometres of road had been affected.

The water in the Mekong river in Stung Treng and Kratie provinces was continuing to rise, Keo Vy said.

“In Stung Treng the water has risen 0.4 metres, Kratie increased 0.2 metres and in Phnom Penh the water has increased 0.03 metres.” Ministry of Agriculture director Ngen Chhay said there were 328,150 hectares of rice under water and 111,373 hectares of rice had been completely destroyed.

“We cannot estimate yet whether the people will face a lack of food because we have not yet evaluated the total impact of flooding,” Ngen Chhay said, adding that the worst hit provinces were Prey Veng, Kampong Cham and Siem Reap.

The Siem Reap river rose 200 millimetres near the city and 70 millimetres in the plateau region, tourist officials said yesterday.  “There was raining in Kulen Mountain on Monday,” Provincial Water Resources Department chairman Nuon Krissna said.

“Seventy percent of that water flows into the Siem Reap river.” But Nuon Krissna dismissed fears that the swollen Tonle Sap lake would bring more serious flooding to the province.

And, contrary to the “wait and see” approach, Oxfam yesterday called for the urgent delivery of aid to people affected by flooding and said food, clean water, sanitation supplies and shelters were immediately need to save lives.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY THIK KALIYANN

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,