The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has announced that its officials are helping to provide water in provincial areas prone to water shortages.
In order to anticipate water shortages across the Kingdom, the government has prepared nearly 100 trucks and water pumping machines.
Ministry spokesman Chan Youttha yesterday said lowland and northern plain areas, especially the provinces of Battambang and Kampong Thom, have been facing water shortages.
Mr Youttha said the ministry is addressing the issue by deploying the water pumping machines to affected areas in the two provinces.
“About 28,000 families in Battambang’s Moung Russei and Kors Kralor districts are facing water shortages,” he said. “We are solving this problem by supplying water from a source that’s 100 kilometres away from the affected areas.”
“As for Kampong Thom, Stoung district is also experiencing shortages of water,” Mr Youttha added. “I do not remember the number of families affected, but we are addressing the issue for them as well.”
He noted that during the shortages, residents must save water and avoid cultivating rice.
“If they continue to cultivate rice and use water to pump fish then there will be more challenges ahead,” Mr Youttha said. “However, we are ready to deploy our water trucks and pumping machines in order to help supply water.”
Battambang Governor Nguon Ratanak yesterday said the shortages began last month and that his administration is working with the central government to provide water to people in the hardest hit areas.
“I would like to thank the leaders of the Water Resources and Meteorology Ministry who assigned working teams to help provide water in the two districts,” Mr Ratanak said. “Without them, people would have no water to use.”
Keo Vy, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said nine provinces have been affected by water shortages and that 20,000 hectares of rice fields have been affected.
“Since December, 13 working groups, made up of ministry officials, have been in the field working to pump water and save rice crops,” Mr Vy said. “They also helped look for water sources so the issue can be addressed.”
He noted that the provinces of Kampong Thom, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Pursat, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, and Battambang are the most affected by water shortages.
Last month, the government issued a directive instructing residents across the Kingdom to conserve water during the dry season. It said that farmers should refrain from using what is left of the water to cultivate rice.
The Water Resources and Meteorology Ministry also announced yesterday that temperatures will increase until next week, due to low pressure and northeastern monsoon.
“In Mondulkiri and Ratanakkiri provinces, the minimum temperature is going to be between 20 to 22 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature will be 30 to 32 degrees Celsius,” the ministry said in a statement. “The capital and other provinces will experience temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.”