This week’s Binge Worthy is a bit different from my normal picks. Sometimes it is worth to wait for new episodes of a TV series that only airs weekly. As the context of this show is on climate change, it can be a bit heavy. But it surely is an important source of education and information for many Cambodians.
Cambodia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of climate change. But how can local communities protect themselves?
“Don’t Wait for Rain” is aimed at Cambodian audiences who have felt the tremendous upshot of climate change and environmental degradation over the decades. The series showcases easily replicable and affordable techniques that Cambodians can use to protect themselves against the effects of extreme weather conditions such as flooding and drought. The series also thoroughly discusses the reasons that may prevent people from planning for extreme weather such as financial worries or lack of confidence to try something new.
BBC Media Action in Cambodia launched the new factual TV series on February 12.
During last week’s launching in Phnom Penh, more than a hundred people gathered and took part in the different activities that also reflected the show’s core message. Participants were amazed by the plastic fashion show, booths of adaptation techniques, photoboard and the fish dance. All these depict wise usage of plastic, generating income through legal fishing and real people who are greatly affected by climate change in Cambodia.
The series wants to do more than have people watch in front of their television boxes, but also participate in feasible ways to limit or innovate plastic use.
“Don’t Wait for Rain” is produced by BBC Media Action, the team behind hit TV series Loy9, Love9, and Klahan9. The show focuses on a different region of Cambodia each week, highlighting every possible corner that needs attention to fully raise awareness about climate change.
The show explores different weather challenges that are most relevant to people in local regions. Spoken in Khmer language, “Don’t Wait for Rain” centers on ordinary and relatable people, making the story more believable and convincing for viewers from all walks of life.
The programme, presented by Dy Chan Sreymom and Jimmy Kiss, pairs local ‘experts’ with those experiencing problems to explain how simple steps can lead to life-changing results. Topics covered include early warning flood systems for flash flooding, rain water storage for coastal areas and grafting plants together to make them more resilient to drought and pests.
The programme also meets a female farmer whose crops have been periodically washed away by flood waters and who learns how to build a raised vegetable garden to grow food for herself and her family undisturbed by flood water.
Alex Baxter, head of production of BBC Media Action Cambodia, said: “By showcasing people who are struggling because of the weather and introducing them to those who have an answer, I hope we will not only encourage people to adapt themselves to build their resilience in the face of a changing climate.”
The TV show was developed following extensive research carried out by BBC Media Action in June 2018 to generate a nationally representative picture of how people in Cambodia live and deal with change.
This large-scale research-based show tells Cambodians about the barriers that are preventing them from taking action to reduce the risks from extreme weather conditions, including a reliance on external support, lack of resources, and crucially, a lack of information and gaps in knowledge about how to best prepare.
Khuon Chandore, BBC Media Action’s research manager, said, “Based on research conducted by BBC Media Action, 43 percent of the people in Cambodia have reported to taking some level of action to address challenges as result of weather and environment change, yet interestingly, 77 percent are willing to make changes. Therefore, a key driver of ‘Don’t Wait for Rain’ was to inspire people to take action for themselves. We hope that by providing information, showcasing people who have already taken some action as role models and who have seen an economic benefit from this action, we can then take steps towards this.”
The project is funded by the Government of Sweden.
Maria Sargren, Swedish Ambassador to Cambodia, said, “If we can increase understanding about why it is important for people to prepare for extreme weather conditions, and provide realistic and relevant adaptations for people we can support our goals of contributing to greater resilience to climate change at local level.”
By getting people to talk about climate change and how it affects them individually and in their communities, BBC Media Action hopes to encourage people to take steps – no matter how small – towards preparing for the effects of climate change so that they can thrive, whatever the weather.
It is not too often that Cambodians get the chance to watch a local series that directly sends out a strong and significant message on issues we don’t usually pay attention to. All thanks to the team behind an informative and motivational series.
“Don’t’ Wait for Rain” is aired on CTN, every Sunday from February 17, 4:30-5:00pm, and every Thursday on MyTV from February 21 at 8:30 -9:00pm and repeated on Saturdays on CTN from 10:00-10:30am and on Fridays on MyTV from 4:30-5:00pm.
Watch “Don’t Wait for Rain” with your family and learn together the effects of climate change and the ways to save yourselves from natural adversities. It’ll surely be worthwhile.