Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers stranded atop a hill

Villagers stranded atop a hill

Villagers stranded atop a hill

About 400 families stranded for more than a month atop a hill in Battambang province received coupons for emergency food aid yesterday.

In addition to a severe shortage of food, the families, whose villages in Moung Russei district’s Talos commune are submerged, have no medical care and scant shelter.

The 50 or so pregnant women and roughly 300 children among them, as well as the elderly, were falling ill,  Chhai Rim, one of the stranded villagers, told  the Post by telephone yesterday.

“Children, old people and the pregnant women are sick with flu, fever and diarrhoea,” he said.

Phaenn Mom, 27, said the group had received one delivery of food, enough for a week, from the Cambodian Red Cross about a fortnight ago.

It consisted of 25 kilograms of rice, 10 packages of noodles and one bottle of fish sauce per family, she said.  

John Macgregor, communications director of the Cambodian War Amputees Rehabilitation Society, reached the stranded group yesterday.

His NGO and two others that work in the province will today begin providing aid via trucks and boats to about 6,000 people stranded on elevated land in four communes.

“It will be a catastrophe if the rain continues for another week,” Macgregor said, describing the people reached yesterday as ranging from “scraping by” to hungry, sick, desperate and distraught.

Officially, Battambang is not among the provinces hardest hit by floods.

According to the National Committee for Disaster Management, not a single school in the province has been damaged by the flooding, which began in early August.

But as more detailed assessments are made by the NCDA and international NGOs, the scope of what the government has yet to declare a national emergency is becoming clear.

More than 400,000 children have been unable to start school this year because of the flooding, which has damaged 1,138 schools nationwide, according to the latest report from the UN Disaster Management Team.

The report, which relies heavily on NCDA data, put the number of households that have been evacuated because of flooding at 34,204, and the number of people affected at 1.2 mill-ion, or slightly less than 10 per cent of the Kingdom’s population.

The report also said diarrhoea outbreaks  had been detected in Svay Rieng and Kampong Thom provinces by UNICEF health staff.

The World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that the Ministry of Health had not detected any such outbreaks in flood-hit areas.

“Have they been to Battambang?” Macgregor asked.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh