By Sarom Monory, Advocacy Communications Officer.
Kampong Thom is one of the most vulnerable provinces to the natural disaster especially flood in Cambodia. In 2011, 40 percent of the total population among 8 districts of Kampong Thom was affected by a serious flood. It was reported that 54,414 families of 7 districts and 1 municipality in Kampong Thom were affected by flood and 64 people dead (17 women and 21 children). 64,872 ha of wet season rice and some infrastructures were damaged. In responding to this situation, Oxfam with its local partners and local authority has started the Flood Emergency Respond project under funded by ECHO. However, this huge damage and lose required more time and resource for people to recover and also to move forward to a better life. This year Oxfam has brought again the project with the perspective to help people affected by flood to recover in their livelihood funded by ECHO.
More than 300 representatives from the national and sub-national government of Cambodia, international and local NGOs, civil society and youth participated the launching of “Kampong Thom Flood Recovery Project” at Kampong Thom Provincial Hall on 23rd July 2012. This event was jointly organized by Oxfam and the National Committee for Disaster Management Cambodia (NCDM) under presided by His Excellency Mr. Chhun Chhan, the Provincial Governor of Kampong Thom and opening speech by His Excellency Mr. Ponn Narith, Secretariat General and Special Representative of His Excellency Dr. Nhim Vanda.
“In responding to the needs of affected people, the Royal Government of Cambodia, ECHO, Oxfam, other local NGO partners and relevant stakeholders have worked together for responding to this emergency situation contributing to poverty reduction in Kampong Thom. I am appreciated with the support and close collaboration between civil society and NCDM as well as the local authority. And we are thankful for this action”, His Excellency Mr. Chhun Chhan said.
In 2011, Oxfam worked with several local NGOs to respond to emergency need during flood in Kampong Thom which was also funded by ECHO. The Emergency Response Project was completed in March 2012. However, the huge lose and community needs for recovery remain challenges by affected people.
“In addition to Flood Emergency Response project in 2011, Kampong Thom Flood Recovery Project is another project funded by ECHO. We strongly believe that the project will contribute to the recovery of flood affected households in Kampong Thom. It will also enable flood affected people to increase their resilience for the future disaster”, Mr. Sharon Thangadurai, Associate Country Director of Oxfam Great Britain in Cambodia, said.
“The disaster management and climate change resilience and adaptation are everyone’s responsibility. It required collaboration among government, development partners, and civil society especially youth. Today is a good example where the project is informed and transparent to the national and sub-national authority and relevant stakeholders”, His Excellency Mr. Ponn Narith said.
This 12-month (1st June 2012 to 31 May 2013) project is implemented by Oxfam and its 6 local NGO partners (AFD, APA, ESSD, COWS, HOM, MODE) in collaboration with NCDM and other key stakeholders. Its objective is contributing to the improvement of the social, health and economic recovery of flood-affected households in Kampong Thom province. Moreover, it will also provide 19,932 families in this province the enhancement of community resilience and prepare them to be ready to deal with the risk situation of disaster. It will focus on the food security and livelihood, WASH, and Disaster Risk Reduction.
“Flood caused people a lot of difficulties in making a living. The Emer-gency Response Project in 2011 helped flood affected people by provid-ing the agriculture seeds for growing to improve their livelihoods. We hope the Flood Recover Project will further improve people’s livelihoods and support local infrastructure”, Mrs. Neam Kong, Village Chief of Anlong Sleng, said.