Response continues as flood waters ravage Cambodia

Published: 18 October 2011 15:40 CET

The Cambodian Red Cross is appealing to donors to support the emergency response as flood waters continue to ravage many provinces in the country.

Dr Uy Sam Ath, Director of the Disaster Management Department, said the organization is responding in three ways.  “We are evacuating people to higher ground and compiling lists of the evacuees in the flood-affected provinces, with branches mobilizing Red Cross volunteers, disaster response teams and resources, in collaboration with local authorities,” he said.

“Our health response includes distributing water filter jars and chloramine, providing first aid to evacuees, conducting needs assessments and educating communities on the health risks from the flooding. We are also distributing relief aid to families affected by the flooding.”

A total of 36,441 families have received relief aid to date. Branches have directly distributed relief packages to 14,706 families, while the National Society has provided relief packages for 15,567 families. Other organizations and donors have provided relief packages for a further 6,138 families.

Each family has received 30kg of rice, a box of noodles, 10 cans of fish, a mosquito net, a blanket, a scarf and a sarong. 

Cambodian Red Cross has also distributed water purifiers to 1,242 families in Prey Veng and Kampong Thom provinces. In Kandal province the branch office has provided chloramine, cotrim and paracetamol to 350 families.

Ten families have received funds from the organization to rebuild homes that were destroyed by landslides as the flooding reached Stung Treng and Kratie provinces.

In Svay Rieng province, many people have been sleeping in the grounds of the Koh Chum pagoda after being evacuated from nearby villages. Mr Kong Ton from Koy Trabek village said: "The water in my house reaches to my chest. I was evacuated to higher ground a week ago. I am very happy to receive the relief aid.”

Mr Un Sok , age 72, and his wife Ork Vorn, were evacuated from Darang Ball village a week ago. They brought their two water buffalo with them to the pagoda. “The water in my house reached my thigh,” he said. “I was afraid to stay because my house is on new ground so it may collape easily. Two hectares of my rice field are completely destroyed.”

He thanked Cambodian Red Cross and local authorities for providing emergency assistance. “We completed the emergency needs assessment at the end of last week, and today (Tuesday) we received the relief aid.”