Drought fears spark warning

Last year’s drought was one of the worst on record. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Last year’s drought was one of the worst on record. KT/Chor Sokunthea

THE government has warned people to be careful about water supplies – for people and animals as well as rice fields – due to fears of a repeat of last year’s drought.
Nhem Vanda, the vice-president of the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), said yesterday the 2016 drought was very difficult.
In some areas such as in Battambang province, villagers lacked water for bathing and sometimes they did not take a bath for a whole day.
“As we experienced the drought, we dug wells and ponds to keep water for people. We are worried the drought in 2016 will happen again and that’s why we are preparing a prevention plan,” he said.
He said the NCDM had received many good recommendations for storing water in case of a drought as bad as last year or worse.
“It does not matter if there is no drought, but if it happens again we will not be so concerned because we are prepared for it,” said Mr. Vanda.
A total of 965 new wells were dug, 684 old wells were restored and 240 new ponds were dug. Eighteen canals and 125 old ponds were restored.
A NCDM report said 132 people died and 298 were injured in accidents caused by natural disasters in 2016. Many public and private properties were damaged.
Twenty provinces faced a lack of water. These included Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Siem Reap, Oddar Meanchey and Svay Rieng provinces.
About 331,505 families, or nearly two million people, were affected by water shortages.

Source: Khmer Times

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