World Bank Offers $40 Million for Ketsana Recovery

The World Bank announced Cambodia would receive $40 million in grants and loans to rehabilitate rural roads and construct wells and latrines in eight provinces that were affected by Typhoon Ketsana last year.

The four-year project is to improve 920 km of rural roads and build 1,400 community wells and 32,000 flush latrines for households affected by the typhoon, the Bank said in a statement Tuesday.

The project will be implemented in Preah Vihear, Kompong Thom, Kompong Cham, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Ratanakkiri, Oddar Meanchey and Mondolkiri provinces, World Bank spokesman Bou Saroeun said yesterday.

The Bank said it would also support the government’s National Committee for Disaster Management in developing national and provincial risk maps, emergency management information, early warning systems and housing and building codes.

Typhoon Ketsana wreaked havoc in October last year as an estimated 48,000 families across 15 provinces lost their rice stocks and 62,000 hectares of paddy were destroyed. The total damage was calculated at $130 million.

The project took a full year to prepare due to “the size of the damage and the needs for reconstruction and rehabilitation,” according to Mr Saroeun.

Kompong Thom governor Chhun Chhorn said that in his province only the roads that were seriously damaged by Ketsana had so far been rehabilitated. The new project, he said, “is very good…. Right now it is hard to transport goods, material, cassava and other crops.”

NDCM First Deputy President Nhim Vanda said the project was “very important to improve the people’s health, education, as well as transportation.”

He added the government would like to restore roads in Banteay Meanchey and Pursat provinces that were damaged by recent flooding, using some of the project’s funds.

Flooding in the country’s northwest last month destroyed 6,000 hectares of paddy, the Ministry of Agriculture said Tuesday. The NCDM estimates recent floods caused $70 million in damages.

Oxfam Country Lead Francis Perez said he hoped the project would also include a public education campaign to prepare people for disasters, informing them where to go and what to do.

“It’s a worthwhile investment…to promote a culture of preparedness and awareness for disaster,” he said.


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