Authorities in Kampong Cham province are attempting to minimise the effects of drought in the province.
The drought has affected more than 10,000 hectares of rice fields in five districts since the beginning of the month.
Kampong Cham Governor Kuoch Chamroeun yesterday led a meeting with local officials to find a way to rescue affected rice fields in the districts of Srey Santhor, Prey Chhor, Choeung Prey and Kampong Siem.
Om Vibol, director of the provincial water resources department, said for the past ten days officials have been attempting to salvage 15,311-hectares of rice fields by pumping water to them.
“Officials are using three water machines to pump water for fields in some of the hardest-hit areas,” Mr Vibol said. “The districts of Prey Chhor and Kampong Siem were hit the hardest in the province.”
Kim Savoeurn, director of the provincial agriculture department, said a total of 38 communes in the five districts are still battling the drought.
“Some areas did not get rainfall and some areas do not have water sources,” Mr Savoeurn said. “That’s why we have to pump water.”
Keo Vy, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said that drought has affected 20,000 hectares of crops in 13 provinces this year, noting that Kampong Cham has suffered the most.
“Local authorities are attempting to rescue the crops in Kampong Cham by finding water,” he said.
After his meeting, Mr Chamroeun visited Kampong Siem district and said that it is imperative for his administration to save the affected rice fields. He noted that villagers are in need of urgent help.
“The authorities will assist our farmers during this drought,” he said, noting that he has instructed officials to restore a canal by pumping lake water into it.
“The people living near the river are not concerned over the drought, but villagers who are far away from the river need water,” he added.
Mr Chamroeun said the cause of the drought in Kampong Siem district was a lack of irrigation for farmers.
“If necessary, use the machines to restore the irrigation system – and pump quickly, do not let the rice die,” he said. “We must help the people.”