Source: Cambodia Herald
PHNOM PENH (Cambodia Herald) – The European Commission announced Tuesday five projects to assist 70,000 victims of last year’s exceptional floods which affected an estimated 1.7 million people across the country.
A statement said the projects would cost €3.45 million and be implemented by Oxfam GB, the French Red Cross, ACTED, World Vision UK and an NGO consortium led by Danish Church Aid.
The aid is in addition to €2.5 million in immediate aid and is part of the €11 million provided to Cambodia and other countries affected, namely Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines.
“While the waters may have now receded the humanitarian needs have not,” EU Ambassador Jean-Francois Cautain said. “People are still in need and it is essential that we help re-establish livelihoods so that people can get back on their feet again.”
The statement said the aid would cover 12 provinces and range from basic health care to repairing wells. Some people will get seeds to replant fields, others will get small grants to buy farm animals or restock small businesses, it added.
“This site is dedicated to providing information on potential flow changes in the Mekong River and its tributaries. Outcomes of on-going research on the expected environmental and economic impact of these changes are also presented.”
The Mekong river flows 4800 km from Tibet through China, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand,Cambodia, the Vietnam delta, and into the South China Sea, draining an area of 795,000 sq. km. It is currenlty one of the least modified large rivers and the second most bio-diverse river in the world after the Amazon.
Flows in the Mekong are naturally controlled by the seasonal tropical monsoons. The current patterns and variations of water flows in the Mekong River are critical to sustaining fisheries, agriculture, ecosystems as well as the culture of people in the basin. The river supports the world’s largest freshwater fishery and the livelihood of 65 million people dependent on its flows. These flows are at risk of being significantly altered through extensive ongoing developments and plans of hydropower in mainstream and tributaries, water abstractions for agriculture, and climate change.
Red dots show submitted flood reports.
They’ve posted a Google Earth file as well but I couldn’t get it to work: 115-GERS_108_Cambodia.kmz
Source: Phnom Penh Post Storms not done just yet Kim Yuthana and Joseph Freeman Thursday, 17 May 2012
In recent weeks, heavy storms have killed 10 people, prompting government officials to issue weather warnings, and raising the question of whether Cambodia can respond to floods like the ones that devastated the country last year.The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology said in a statement yesterday the tempestuous weather should continue until Friday, and that coastal provinces and areas along the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers would be especially hard hit.
Extensive flooding last year affected more than a million people, leaving hundreds dead and many stranded without aid for weeks due to a lack of governmental and NGO co-ordination.
But those involved say that improvements have been made, pointing to more co-operation between officials and local communities and the drafting of a Disaster Management Law.
“Based on previous experience, we have conducted all measures for saving the victims,” Uy Samath, of the Cambodian Red Cross, said.
He said areas of high ground had been singled out and boats, food and clean water would be available in case an emergency struck.
Broader plans have yet to be finalised.
Hang Pham, who works on disaster reduction in Southeast Asia for the United Nations, said there were ongoing discussions on an early warning system that would alert affected residents about impending floods.
“The whole concept of prevention needs to be promoted more,” she said.
Weeks into the rainy season, the impact is already serious.
Keo Vy, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said that as well as the 10 deaths, storms had injured 60 people, destroyed almost 700 houses and damaged many more.
From the blog:
Could the compounding impacts of hydropower development, climate change, and mismanagement one day stop the reversal of the Tonle Sap river?
This blog is an attempt by Sophat Soeung to answer this question by following, collecting news, and reflecting on the latest and most challenging developments facing the Mekong and Tonle Sap, and the people who depend on them, with a focus on Cambodia.
The Tonle Sap lake-river during the dry season (dark blue) and rainy season (light blue).
So this will be my presentation topic atthis year’s 4th Khmer Studies Forum at Ohio University, April 27-29, 2012. Interestingly, the presentation comes at a time when there is more media coverage on the Mekong river issues, including the recent Mekong-Japan Summit, Cambodia’s warning to Laos about the Xayaburi dam, and Cambodia’s own criticized tributary dam plans.
You can also follow my musings on the Mekong river issues pertaining to Cambodia at http://whentheriverstopsreversing.wordpress.com/. I hope to see you at Ohio University. Here’s my presentation abstract:
When the River Stops Reversing: Raising Environmental Awareness for the Tonle Sap
The Mekong river’s unique hydrology has profoundly shaped Cambodian culture and its civilization for over two millennia. From the author’s experience, however, modern Cambodians do not appear to fully understand or appreciate this connection, resulting in lack of engagement on environmental issues and misguided development policies. The Tonle Sap river is believed to be the world’s only inland river that seasonally reverses its flow. The significance of this hydrological reversal lies beyond its physical symbolism – more importantly, it determines the food security of Cambodia, having shaped its cultural lifeblood for over two millennia. To most Cambodians, this river’s strange rhythm seems ‘natural’ and enduring. However, today the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers are under threat from infrastructure development and climate change more than ever before. For example, the erection of a dam or a decrease in rainfall could disrupt the seasonal reversal. In this context, the author believes that the metaphor of an irreversible Tonle Sap river can serve as a wake-up call for Cambodians of all walks of life to be more aware of their physio-social environment. Through better education and activism, this narrative could elicit more widespread engagement in Mekong river issues, while also bringing about more sustainable national policies to address the developmental and environmental challenges that Cambodia and neighboring countries face in managing this shared resource.