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Friday, 28 October 2011

Plan Cambodia reaches 30,000 people in flood-hit provinces

People camped on higher ground in Veal village, Sambour commune, Siem Reap province. Plan / Ong Thearny

Source: member // Plan International

28 October 2011: Plan has distributed hygiene kits, dry-food rations, shelter kits and mosquito nets to some 30,000 people whose lives have been impacted by the devastating flooding in Cambodia.

Monsoon rains have caused extensive flooding across 18 of Cambodia’s 24 provinces. In Siem Reap, one of Plan Cambodia’s programming areas, all 12 districts have been affected, including 10,000 families with 21,500 children. At least 33 kilometres of roads, 62 schools, 12,000 water wells, 19,111 hectares of rice paddy and 1,616 hectares of other agricultural products are now flooded in the province.

On the ground

Plan Cambodia is coordinating with the Provincial, District and Commune Committees for Disaster Management to ensure timely distribution to families in some of the areas that are hardest to reach because of high water levels.

Assessments conducted by field staff indicate that flood levels have stopped rising in most areas and that in some parts of Kampong Cham the flood waters are receding, allowing for families to return to their homes.

Plan Cambodia will now begin its recovery phase programming prioritising education in these areas to ensure that families - and especially children and youths - are able to return to their normal lives.

“Some of the schools that Plan Cambodia has been able to visit are severely affected by the floods. We have seen significant structural damage, classroom materials destroyed, water supplies disrupted -- and they all require huge clean-up efforts,” said Supriyanto, Plan Cambodia’s country director.

“Koh Chin Krom Primary School in Koh Sotin district of Kampong Chom is still flooded and the 455 primary-level students will not be able to attend classes for at least another month. It is essential that we minimise disruption to the education of children such as the pupils at Koh Chin Krom and help establish their normal routines as soon as possible,” he added.

Damage done

Locals say this is the worst flooding they have seen for 20 years. Nationwide the flooding has damaged at least 590,000 hectares of agricultural land, as well as 2,500 kilometres of roads and 2,000 kilometres of irrigation facilities.

This year’s celebration of Cambodia’s Water Festival in November has been cancelled due to the crisis.

At least 247 people have died so far, while more than 200 children have died in flooding across Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Plan is working to support flood-affected families across the region.

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