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Banteay Meanchey faces possible drought

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Workers install a water pump to irrigate 125 hectares in O’Ambel commune. MOWR

Tens of thousands of hectares of paddy rice in two areas in Banteay Meanchey province are facing damage due to inconsistent rain over the past week.

In a statement, the Provincial Hall said about 26,000 hectares of paddy rice in Mongkol Borey district and Serei Saophoan city are prone to damage.

Serei Saophoan Governor Hil Raya said the city is facing a shortage of water in the communes of Kampong Svay, O’Ambel, Preah Ponlea, Phniet and Koh Poung Sat.

Mr Raya said under the order of the provincial governor, officials inspected the sites and noted potential damage to rice cultivation.

He said in order to address the issue, the provincial officials brought two water pumps to help with irrigation for rice farmers.

“The authorities came to check and intervened by bringing large water pumps from the provincial water resources and meteorology department,” Mr Raya said. “The water is taken from a water source in the city to affected areas.”

Mongkul Borey district Governor Roath Da Samnong said 13 communes in his district face a shortage of water.

Mr Da Samnong said he told provincial officials and a disaster management committee about the issue because the Mongkul Borey pond does not have enough water to supply everyone in need.

He noted that the rain came early this year, but inconsistency could affect rice crops in the district.

“If there’s no rainfall in one or two weeks, these crops will face damage,” Mr Da Samnong said. “But, if rain comes this week, those rice farmers will have hope that all is going to be well.”

He noted that there are more than 50,000 hectares of rice grown in his district and that 20,000 are facing a lack of water.

As for the pond, Mr Da Samnong said it has dried up and that farmers are scrambling to locate an alternative source of water to save their crops.

“Last month, the rain fell pretty regularly in the district, but since the beginning of July, there has been no rain,” he said. “This results in more than 20,000 hectares of rice paddies lacking water. District authorities informed provincial authorities and the National Committee for Disaster Management for support.”

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