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Ministry warns of coming drought

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The ministry wants farmers to be prepared. KT/Mai Vireak

The Water Resources and Meteorology Ministry is calling on all Cambodians to conserve water due to fear of drought during next year’s dry season.

The dry season is expected to commence in February and it will end in May.

On Monday, the ministry said in a statement that January temperatures will range from 17 to 28 degrees Celsius, especially in mountainous areas.

It added that from February until early May, temperatures will increase ranging from 36 degrees Celsius to 41 degrees Celsius.

“While from late March to early May, we will see less occasional rain than in 2018,” the ministry statement said. “Though there will still be thunder, lightning and storms.”

The ministry said rain season will start in the middle of May until July with average to moderate rainfall. However, it said a dry spell will likely occur during the third or fourth week of June.

Chan Youttha, spokesman for the ministry, yesterday said farming requires a high demand of water for irrigation.

“We are calling for people not to waste the water you have now because there could be a shortage of it in the coming dry season,” Mr Youttha said.

He noted that provincial and municipal authorities must cooperate with village and commune authorities to manage existing water sources as ministry officials look to prevent shortages of water and support farmers.

“We have large reservoirs across the country and we can look for ways to distribute water. However, the ministry has to collaborate with local authorities to conserve water,” Mr Youttha said. “We will also conduct meetings to disseminate information and help farmers.”

Keo Vy, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, yesterday said local authorities are prepared to disseminate more information to the public on how to conserve water and prepare for a drought.

“This will be easy for people because we had a massive drought in 2016 and they’ve learned from that shortage of water for agriculture and for consumption,” Mr Vy said. ”When we inform them that there will be a shortage of water, people will comply and conserve water, while we look for ways to distribute water to them.”

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