Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered provincial authorities to dig wells for people who are facing shortages of water during the dry season.
“Ministry and provincial officials must pay attention to our people,” Mr Hun Sen said during a speech in front of university graduates on Monday. “In 2016, we had to transport water to people when their wells dried.”
“Try to dig wells because it’s better than transporting water, but dig deep enough so it can be used longer,” he added. “Please continue to dig wells in areas facing shortages of water.”
Mr Hun Sen said that people who are able to use their own resources to dig wells should help contribute in alleviating hardship during the dry season. He also noted that farmers who have water must reduce the cultivation of rice.
Water Resources and Meteorology Minister Lim Kean Hor yesterday said in a statement that between April and May, temperatures could be as high as 42 degrees Celsius.
Mr Kean Hor said rain is not expected until June, noting that there will not be much rain this year due to the El Nino phenomenon.
Last week, the National Defence Ministry said it was prepared to deploy 300 soldiers, 100 water trucks and 30 water pumps in order to address shortages of water.
“We will send our military forces to supply water for them,” ministry spokesman General Chhum Sucheat said at the time. “We have prepared our forces now and we are studying the land in order to find sources of water in affected areas.”
The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces said on Facebook that Major General Hul Sam Onn, commander of Transport Brigade 99, was ordered to lead the mission to distribute water.
“Following the recommendation of Prime Minister Hun Sen and Defence Minister General Tea Banh, Major General Hul Sam Onn, commander of Transport Brigade 99, must prepare 300 soldiers, 100 water-trucks and 30 water pumps in order to supply provincial residents with water during the dry season,” it said.