PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker Yim Sovann gave the government four recommendations on what to do to control the response to natural disasters.
In the plenary session of the National Assembly to approve the draft law on disaster management, Mr. Sovann said he appreciated the government’s efforts to save people during disasters. But he criticized the current government frameworks and asked the government to improve its preparedness.
Mr. Sovann said that Cambodia has seen an increasing amount of both human and natural disasters. First, he criticized the government’s capacity to rescue victims.
“We cannot deny it,” he said, mentioning that the government should recognize the areas in which they need to improve. “Natural disasters cannot be stopped, but we can stop human disasters.”
He pointed out that after this draft law is approved, the government should monitor and recruit officials who have the skills to deal with these kind of disasters.
“The disasters are very complicated, and we cannot skip out on them,” he said, adding that Cambodia did not have many students studying the necessary skills to fill these kinds of positions within the government.
Secondly, he asked the government to stop filling in lakes, creeks and seas for land concessions, and to stop cutting down trees.
“This issue actually affects the floods so much that we cannot excuse them,” Mr. Sovann said.
Third, he said, “I asked them to enhance the quality of infrastructure, and especially we need to construct things to prevent the massive flooding which increases every year,” Mr. Sovann said.
Lastly, he wants to enhance the knowledge of citizens in the country to prepare them for any natural disasters that might come. “Each family should have enough knowledge and information,” Mr. Sovann said. He wants TV and Radio stations to broadcast information about flooding or any natural disasters.
Vice President of the Cambodia’s National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) Nhim Vanda said that this law will help the government prevent and reduce mass casualties due to disasters.
“We will consider these recommendations after this law is approved,” he said, adding that the implementation of the law will take too long because his institution is lacking in expert officials.
“NCDM is part of the staff of the government that will lead, manage and coordinate. We send about 20 officials to study skills abroad,” he said.