Life has never been easy for farmers along Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake – the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia – and now water shortages, soil degradation and the rising costs for chemicals have added to their hardships.
“Each season, the most challenging problems we farmers commonly face are a lack of finance and water,” said Reth Pheach, 50, who has land in Sa Kream commune in Kampong Thom province.
Sitting under a dilapidated wooden house about 80 kilometers from the Tonle Sap Lake, he added: “In the past, we did not have water shortages. We rarely had droughts, but now the weather has become unpredictable. I don’t know why this happens.”