Gov’t Has No Plan To Relieve Water Shortage

Despite calling this year’s water shortage “the worst plight” Cam­bo­dia has seen in 10 years, the Na­­tional Committee for Disaster Ma­­n­agement said Thursday that the government has no plan to provide water relief to drought-stricken villagers.

“This is the first time we have had this bad of a water shortage for the last 10 years,” the disaster ma­n­agement committee’s First Vice-President Nhim Vanda said, ad­ding that in some areas villa­gers were in greater need of wa­ter than food.

But, he said, the situation was not dire enough to warrant ur­gent action. “It is not time for the gov­ern­ment to provide relief yet,” he said.

Speaking by phone Thursday from Kompong Speu province, Nhim Vanda said that Kompong Speu appeared hardest hit by drought, ahead of Prey Veng, Ta­keo, and Oddar Meanchey prov­inces.

He said he is also checking re­ports of water shortages in the prov­­inces bordering Thailand, and reports that some villagers are buy­ing water from Thai villagers.

Inaction by the central government has forced some provinces, like Banteay Meanchey, to take matters into their own hands.

Banteay Meanchey Governor Heng Chantha said he sent five firefighters this week to transport water to villagers in Svay Chek district.

They will continue to supply wa­­ter there until it rains, he said.

Many villagers there have been forced to travel 15 km to 20 km from home to fetch water for their families, he said.

Though various parts of Phnom Penh this week experienced stop­pa­ges to their water supply, Gov­er­nor Kep Chuktema on Thurs­day de­nied the cuts were due to a shortage.

The city still has enough water for its households, he said, ad­ding that there could have been problems in areas where water supply workers were fixing pipes.

But some residents living on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, such as Dangkao district, have been affected by drought, he said.

The governor said he will construct wells and a canal for villagers there soon.

Despite calling this year’s water shortage “the worst plight” Cam­bo­dia has seen in 10 years, the Na­­tional Committee for Disaster Ma­­n­agement said Thursday that the government has no plan to provide water relief to drought-stricken villagers.

“This is the first time we have had this bad of a water shortage for the last 10 years,” the disaster ma­n­agement committee’s First Vice-President Nhim Vanda said, ad­ding that in some areas villa­gers were in greater need of wa­ter than food.

But, he said, the situation was not dire enough to warrant ur­gent action. “It is not time for the gov­ern­ment to provide relief yet,” he said.

Speaking by phone Thursday from Kompong Speu province, Nhim Vanda said that Kompong Speu appeared hardest hit by drought, ahead of Prey Veng, Ta­keo, and Oddar Meanchey prov­inces.

He said he is also checking re­ports of water shortages in the prov­­inces bordering Thailand, and reports that some villagers are buy­ing water from Thai villagers.

Inaction by the central government has forced some provinces, like Banteay Meanchey, to take matters into their own hands.

Banteay Meanchey Governor Heng Chantha said he sent five firefighters this week to transport water to villagers in Svay Chek district.

They will continue to supply wa­­ter there until it rains, he said.

Many villagers there have been forced to travel 15 km to 20 km from home to fetch water for their families, he said.

Though various parts of Phnom Penh this week experienced stop­pa­ges to their water supply, Gov­er­nor Kep Chuktema on Thurs­day de­nied the cuts were due to a shortage.

The city still has enough water for its households, he said, ad­ding that there could have been problems in areas where water supply workers were fixing pipes.

But some residents living on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, such as Dangkao district, have been affected by drought, he said.

The governor said he will construct wells and a canal for villagers there soon.

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