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Disaster agency stockpiling rice and seeds for flood prep

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A mother navigates a flooded area with her child in August, 2017, after water levels rose due to heavy rains in Stung Treng province. Photo supplied

Disaster agency stockpiling rice and seeds for flood prep

National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy said on Wednesday that the government had stockpiled 12,000 tonnes of rice and crop seeds to support Cambodians in rural areas facing natural disasters such as droughts and floods.

Vy said natural disasters are notably caused by climate change and are a great concern in the Kingdom, impacting economic and social development.

“For Cambodia, droughts, floods and storms have cost millions of dollars to the national budget annually, with funds being spent on the restoration of damaged infrastructure. This year, the government has reserved 10,000 tonnes of rice, 2,000 tonnes of rice seed and 50 tonnes of other crop seeds to support victims of natural disasters,” he said.

Data from the National Committee for Disaster Management show that the provinces which have been most affected by natural disasters in the past are Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Prey Veng, Kandal, Takeo, Kampong Speu and Koh Kong.

In Banteay Meanchey, flooding recently impacted 2,300 hectares of paddy fields in Mongkul Borey district, while 200 houses were also seriously damaged by storms, said Ly Sary, Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor.

“The impact of the recent floods and rainstorms in Banteay Meanchey province cost about $100,000. Our authorities intervened and used vehicles to deepen the irrigation system and repair the damaged roads,” Sary said.

In a meeting on Wednesday with 2,000 garment factory workers in Chbar Mon town, Kampong Spue province, Prime Minister Hun Sen reminded all institutions to be ready for potential flooding.

The Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology has predicted that rainfall will be high and could lead to serious flooding this rainy season.