As temperatures rise, floods to increase in Cambodia: report

June 11th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

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. …

Melissa McMorran and Mom Kunthear

Rain, hail kills one, destroy 200 homes

May 30th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

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. …

Sen David

Land prices along major roads increase sharply

February 14th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

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. …

Seun Son

Cambodia exposed to large fiscal risks from disasters

December 19th, 2012 , The Cambodia Herald

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. …

The Cambodian Herald Staff

Coalition of Cambodian NGOs calls for help with climate change

November 26th, 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

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. …

Justine Drennan

Thailand to host meeting on Mekong development

November 21st, 2012 , The Nation

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. …

The Nation

Merit in rice trade plan

November 15th, 2012 , Bangkok Post

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. …

Bangkok Post

Flood money runneth over

October 31st, 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

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.  …

By Sen David, P. 5

Collective approach to ‘help poor’

October 29th, 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

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.  …

By Sen David, P. 6

Disasters present big risks for small GDPs

October 29th, 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

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. …

By Khouth Sophak Chakrya, P. 4

Climate action plan needed

October 12th, 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

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. …

May Kunmakara, P. 7

Floods May Lead to Evacuation of 13,000 Families

October 10th, 2012 , The Cambodia Daily

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. …

Aun Pheap, P. 18

Government Prepares for More Evacuations Due to Flooding

October 5th, 2012 , The Cambodia Daily

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. …

By Aun Pheap and Phok Dorn, P. 18

Tropical Storm Threatens to Extend Floods

October 3rd, 2012 , The Cambodia Daily

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. …

By Aun Pheap, P. 18

Northwest Prepares as Thailand Opens Dam

October 2nd, 2012 , The Cambodia Daily

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. …

By Aun Pheap and Simon Lewis, P. 16

Flood’s deadly toll contested

October 2nd, 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

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.

By Phak Seangly, P. 6

Banteay Meanchey Worst Hit as Flood Toll at 11

September 29th, 2012 , The Cambodia Daily

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. …

Kaing Menghun, P. 11

Looking for a flood of investment

September 27th, 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia’s Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said foreign investors with production bases in Thailand ought to consider Cambodia for future expansion because of the Kingdom’s greater resistance to floods.

Speaking at Phnom Penh Honda’s 20th anniversary yesterday, the Commerce minister said that while Cambodia faces floods each year, the floods did not seriously affect most factories and industries. …

The Cambodian government spent about US$200 million for the rehabilitation of infrastructure hit by the floods last year. Cambodia has set aside $90 million for 2012 from the national budget against the possibility of flooding.


May Kunmakara, P. 7

Hun Sen Urges Vigilance as Flood Conditions Persist

September 26th, 2012 , The Cambodia Daily

More than 100 families were evacuated to higher ground in Banteay Meanchey province’s Serei Saophoan City yesterday, as Prime Minister Hun Sen urged people to be vigilant in the face of continued flooding. …

After heavy rain last night, 100 more people from Serei Saophan City had to be evacuated, taking the total number of families evacuated from the town to 433, according to Orm Reatrey, Serei Saophan governor. “We have requested more emergency supplies from the Cambodian Red Cross,” Mr. Reatrey added.

Poipet City and O’Chrou district were also badly hit by flooding over the past week, but floodwaters there are now receding and evacuees are starting to return home. …

Aun Pheap and Phorn Bopha, P. 20

More B’ Meanchey Homes Evacuated After Floods

September 25th, 2012 , The Cambodia Daily

Serei Saophan City has become the latest area in Banteay Meanchey province to be hit by floods, with more than 300 families evacuated to higher ground yesterday, according to provincial officials. …

Banteay Meanchey provincial prison has also been affected by the flooding, with some parts of the jail 20 cm deep in water, according to Hin Sophal, the prison’s director. …

There have been five deaths since the floods started a week ago. In O’Chrou and Popet City-the worst hit areas-floodwaters are receding and some of the more than 4,000 evacuated families are beginning to return home.

Aun Pheap, P. 19