Week of Rain Inundates B Meanchey Farmland

More than 15,000 hectares of farm­land in two districts in Banteay Mean­chey province have been un­der water since last week, after heavy rainfall caused flooding in the area, officials said Monday. 

In Toek Chor and Phnom Leap com­munes, 8,300 hectares of rice field belonging to about 3,000 fam­ilies have been flooded since Sept 26, Preah Netr Preah District Governor Chong Phet said.

The rising water had not displaced any families as most villagers were living on high ground, he added.

Khut Bun Chhov, Phnom Srok district’s deputy governor, said by tele­phone Monday that, in five communes in his district, about 7,000 hectares of paddy field belonging to about 8,000 families have been un­der water since Sept 22.

There was no damage to homes, but flooding had damaged pathways and roads, making it hard for villagers to travel, he said.

Provincial Agriculture Director Heng Bunhor said the flooding in four districts began Sept 22. Wa­ter levels had subsided quickly in two of the districts, but in Preah Netr Preah and Phnom Srok districts levels were decreasing slowly, he said.

Heng Bunhor declined to estimate the extent of the damage to rice fields, as reports included areas only flooded for two or three days. Seven days of flooding would be good for rice plants, he said, adding that damage will only occur if paddies are flooded for more than 15 days.

“If there is no rain the next two or three days, the flooding will subside soon,” Heng Bunhor said.

Flooding in Preah Vihear, which has inundated 1,200 hectares of paddy field in five districts since Sept 17, has decreased by about 20 percent since last week, Provincial Agriculture Director Poeng Trida said Monday. No assessment of damage to rice fields can be made until flooding stops, he added.

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