Can you imagine Phnom Penh with its dust-free roads and its lush greenery scenes? Hard, isn’t it? But here comes the season not all of us like, the rainy days.
In Cambodia, the wet season comes courtesy of the southwest monsoon which blows from the month of May until October, bringing with it some 75 percent of the country’s annual rainfall.
However, the rainy days are usually just a few hours of heavy downpour and not all-day rain. Along with the season’s change, people also need to cope with the challenges that come along with the change.
Challenges like flash floods, illness and health risks rise.
Just like the dry season, the rains bring lots of advantages and disadvantages. On one hand it gives relief to everyone. It helps farmers in the good cultivation of crops. However it spreads various problems in the environment. Sometimes, it causes too much inconvenience to skin health. It causes diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and other digestive system disorders.
But there’s a more prevailing and relevant issue that affects not just the streets of Phnom Penh but the world in general – climate change.
The term ‘climate change’ refers to the result of human activity related to industrialization, deforestation and changes in land use. It’s the long-term change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns. While the climate of the earth has always gone through periods of change, modern scientific evidence demonstrates that increasing and rapid weather changes are occurring worldwide. And it’s evidently seen in the country.
In an article by Open Development Cambodia, the nation has been ranked as one of the most climate-vulnerable countries, not only in Southeast Asia, but the world. The Climate Risk Index ranks countries most affected by climate change in the period 1996-2015 based on extreme weather events. Cambodia ranked 13th out of 181 countries.
But speaking from a more cheerful perspective, rainy Cambodia is also a beautiful country to travel around in.
During this season, it’s easier to imagine a dust-free city like Phnom Penh. One tip to remember, there are fewer tourists when it’s raining. So if you prefer going around with less crowds, the wet season can be a good time to visit.
Whether we like the weather or not, the world is never the same. The only thing we can do is be more mindful and enjoy the rain when it pours. As they say, the best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.