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natural disasters

Adding wells a shallow plan, research suggests

In its annual report on disaster preparedness, the National Committee for Disaster Management yesterday affirmed that last year’s drought was the worst in 50 years and recommended the construction of new wells to alleviate future dry spells – despite serious risks identified by recent research. ...

Some NGOs also say they now favour other means of facilitating water access. ...

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Overview of 2016 natural disasters

More than 130 people died and nearly 300 were injured in accidents caused by natural disasters across the country this year, according to a government official.

Keo Vy, the cabinet chief and a spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, told Khmer Times yesterday that three types of natural disasters happened in the country in 2016, including storms and lightning, drought and floods. ...

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Rice crop damaged by floods

At least 17,571 hectares of rice fields were affected by the recent floods – of which about 3,186 hectares were severely damaged, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) yesterday, which urged all provincial agriculture departments to immediately evaluate the affects from the floods and make amends to ensure food safety. ...

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As temperatures rise, floods to increase in Cambodia: report

Rising global temperatures could greatly exacerbate flooding in Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, as well as parts of Africa and South America, a new study by the University of Tokyo has found. ...

Employing 11 different climate models, researchers found that with a mere rise of 3.5 degrees by the end of the century, 42 per cent of the earth’s land surface would face an increased risk of flooding, affecting 100 million people.

That could spell grim news for Cambodia, where some 85 per cent of land lies within the lower Mekong basin, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management. ...

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Rain, hail kills one, destroy 200 homes

Severe rain and hail storms hit several provinces on Tuesday leaving one person dead, more than 10 injured and nearly 200 houses destroyed or damaged, the National Committee for Disaster Management reported yesterday. ... Storms also affected Stung Treng, Svay Rieng and Kampong Thom provinces, surprising some residents, who witnessed hail for the first time. ... The storm completely destroyed seven houses in the district and damaged the roofs of 72 others houses and three school buildings, injuring six people, he said. As of yesterday evening, local authorities and experts were conducting an urgent meeting about the storm, he [Sadan district governor Oun Bot] added. “I think it’s because of climate change,” he [Oun Bot] added. According to a recent report from the NCDM, storms so far this year have destroyed a total of 1,191 houses and damaged 5,025 more, killing 16 people and injuring 68. ... ...

Land prices along major roads increase sharply

The price of land along four major boulevards in Phnom Penh climbed by 16 per cent in early 2013, according to real estate experts, compared to the same period in 2012. VMC Real Estate chairman Dith Channa said land prices increase because the quality of the real estate on offer has improved, although land prices along Monivong, Norodom, Mao Tse Tung and Russian Federation Boulevards have always been healthy. ... ...

Cambodia exposed to large fiscal risks from disasters

Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines are the three Southeast Asian countries most heavily exposed to fiscal risks from disasters, the World Bank warned Wednesday. In its annual economic update on East Asia and the Pacific, the bank said the region was the most disaster-stricken in the world with more than 1.6 billion people affected by natural catastrophes since 2000. ... In the event of a disaster likely to occur only once every 200 years, it warned that Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines could face costs totaling 18 percent or more of total public expenditure. In the case of Cambodia, the bank said, the probable maximum loss would be close to 10 percent of the country's gross domestic product. ... ...

Coalition of Cambodian NGOs calls for help with climate change

As the latest UN climate change conference begins today in Doha, Qatar, a coalition of Cambodian NGOs is joining calls for developed countries to bear more of the burden of combating climate change. Cambodia and other poor countries are unprepared to deal with rapid climate change on their own and should not have to do so, because developed countries are largely responsible for the problem, argues a position paper released yesterday by the Cambodia Climate Change Network and the NGO Forum of Cambodia. ... ...

Thailand to host meeting on Mekong development

Thailand will host the International Conference on Sustainable Development in the Lancang-Mekong Sub-Region next year to push for natural-disaster management, development and security in the Mekong River and its basin, a government official said yesterday. Foreign ministers from the other five countries in the basin, namely China, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, will be attending the meeting, deputy government spokesman Pakdiharn Himathongkham said. The event will be held in Chiang Mai on January 13 and 14, he added. ... ...

Merit in rice trade plan

The cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal allowing the Commerce Ministry to form a rice trade partnership with Asean's four other rice-producing countries, namely Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, to stabilise rice prices in the global market and to promote food security in the region. The plan involves the creation of a rice trade zone (RTZ) in Asean which is slated to be first implemented between Thailand and Cambodia with Cambodian paddy imported into Thailand, milled and then exported by Thailand on behalf of Cambodia. ... ...

Flood money runneth over

Flooding  this year cost the government significantly less than expected due to better preparation and lower water levels than in previous years, first vice president of the National Committee for Disaster Management Nhim Vanda announced yesterday. The NCDM could not yet report the precise amount spent on flood management and relief, but the unspent portion of the $30 million budgeted for this purpose will be used to develop other sectors chosen by Prime Minister Hun Sen, Vanda said yesterday at a conference on natural disaster management attended by about 150 Cambodian, EU and UN officials. ... While last year 18 of Cambodia’s 24 provinces were significantly affected by flooding, Vanda said this year only 100 hectares of rice crops in Preah Vihear, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Thom and Pursat were damaged.  ... ...

Collective approach to 'help poor'

The collective power of agricultural co-operatives could bring huge benefits to poor, small-scale farmers, a Phnom Penh conference for international World Food Day heard on Friday. The sentiments were shared by the director of Cambodia’s General Directorate of Agriculture, So Khan Rithy Kun, who said farming co-ops played a significant role in ending world hunger and were part of Cambodia’s draft Law on the Management and Use of Agricultural Land, which is waiting to be passed. The conference, held at the Royal University of Agriculture with the theme Agricultural Cooperatives: Key to Feeding the World and sponsored by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, drew farmers’ groups, civil society representatives and policymakers.  ... ...

Disasters present big risks for small GDPs

Cambodia's small economy leaves it especially vulnerable to devastation in the face of large-scale natural disasters, United Nations agencies and Cambodian officials warned last week. “The relative size of an economy adds to the vulnerability as seen particularly in the case of the Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic and Cambodia,” noted a report released at the Fifth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. More than 0.5 per cent of annual public expenditure is spent on disaster response in Cambodia, while annual losses are estimated at 0.7 per cent of the gross domestic product, the Asia Pacific Disaster Report estimates. ... ...

Climate action plan needed

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said yesterday that climate change will be a concern in some Asian countries, including Cambodia. He encouraged the countries to find ways to manage any affects on their economies. Economists recognize it will lower growth in some main sectors of the economy – especially the agricultural sector. ... Drought has hit 11 of the 24 provinces in Cambodia and affects tens of thousands of hectares of rice seedlings, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management. ... ...

Floods May Lead to Evacuation of 13,000 Families

Preparations are in place to evacuate some 13,000 people if flooding worsens in Purst province after the Pursat River burst its banks on Monday nights leading to the evacuation of 27 families in Kandieng district. ... Pursat provincial governor Khoy Sokha said that floodwater, which was caused by heavy rainfall from Tropical Depression Gaemi, was about to reach Veal Veng district. ... Ratanakkiri province's Lumphat district has also been affected by flooding, with the water reaching up to 2 meters deep in some places, provincial governor Pao Ham Phan said, adding that so far nobody had been evacuated. ... ...

Government Prepares for More Evacuations Due to Flooding

Authorities are preparing to evacuate more than 150 families from Banteay Meanchey province's O'Chrou district, should flooding in the area get worse due to heavy rainfall and runoff from a dam that opened its gates in Thailand on Monday. The families' homes are already affected by flooding, and water levels in the area have been slowly rising throughout the week, according to provincial officials. ... ...

Tropical Storm Threatens to Extend Floods

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology yesterday warned that a tropical storm, which is forecast to hit the coast of Vietnam this weekend, will worsen flooding across much of Cambodia. In a statement signed by Water resources Minister Lim Kean Hor, the ministry said that Tropical Storm Gaemi will bring strong winds and flooding from Thursday through Monday in 13 provinces, Kompong Cham, Mondolkiri, Ratanakkiri, Kratie, Stung Treng, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, Kompong Thom, Koh Kong, Kep, Kampot and Preah Sihanouk. ... About 5,000 people have been evacuated in Banteay Meanchey since flooding began in the middle of last month, with police, military and military police preparing to evacuate even more. ... ...

Northwest Prepares as Thailand Opens Dam

Thai authorities yesterday opened a dam near the Cambodian border, a move that could worsen flooding and affect thousands of people in Banteay Meanchey province, according to Cambodian officials. ... Mr. Vanda [vice president of the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM)] said the excess water released from the Thai dam in Ta Praya district, would reach Cambodian areas in the next few days. He said the high water was now expected to first reach Banteay Meanchey's Malai district, avoiding Poipet City and then flow into Battambang province. ... While provincial authorities appeared to be expecting serious repercussions from the opening of the dam, Thailand's ambassador to Cambodia, Sompong Sanguanbun, said Thai authorities had reassured him the effects would not be serious. ... ...

Flood's deadly toll contested

Disputed figures surround the flood death toll in Banteay Meanchey province. Yesterday, Banteay Mean­chey city hall spokesman Keo Ratanak rejected reports that more than 10 people had drowned in the province as a result of the flooding, saying: “The exact number is seven.” But according to numbers obtained from other local authorities, including police and district governors, the deaths add up – with three people drowned in Poipet, three in Serei Sophoan, three in Ou’chrov district, two in Phnom Srok district and two in Mong Kulborei district for a total of 13 people. ... Meanwhile, the flooding in Banteay Meanchey that forced 5,000 families to be evacuated and inundated 41,000 hectares of paddy fields, is on the rise again after subsiding early last week. ...

Banteay Meanchey Worst Hit as Flood Toll at 11

A total of 11 people have now died due to flooding in the country since mid-September, while the worst affected area, Banteay Meanchey province, continued to suffer amid torrential rain on Thursday night, government officials said on Friday. ... Keo Vy, deputy director of information at the National Committee for Disaster Management, said that 11 people have died in Banteay Meanchey, Kompong Thom and Siem Reap due to flooding and 47,000 hectares of rice paddy, and more than 2,000 hectares of other crops have been damaged. ... ...

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