by Natalia Fais, Cesvi staff in Cambodia
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
- During the 2011 wet season, Cambodia suffered extraordinarily heavy rains
creating harsh flooding crosswise much of the country. Approaching this scenario and its aftermath, Cesvi aims at reducing the vulnerability of communities to disasters through ongoing relief actions.
In 2011, Cambodia experienced the worst flooding in over a decade with an overflowing of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers
. According to UN Reports, flood has hit approximately 350,000 households
- affecting more than 1,64 million people
- living in 18 out of Cambodia’s 24 provinces. Approximately 250 human losses and hundreds of physical injuries have been a direct result of this natural disaster. A total of 294,348 hectares of rice
have been lost, many livestock and cattle have been taken away, roads as well as infrastructures (schools, health centers and etc.) have been destroyed or damaged.
During the flood emergency and in its aftermath, Cesvi - present in the country since 1996 - gives its contribution working into the province of Kampong Chhnang
. The province has been severely affected by the disaster. 51.000 households
, for a total of more than 11.500 people
, have been displaced. The massive flood deluged 31,186 hectares of rice
, harmed the majority of the health centers and damages water-providing utilities - among those wells, the main sources of drinking water within villages and communities. Thus, water and sanitation issues have resulted from the contamination of water sources
used for cooking, bathing, and drinking – increasing the risk of waterborne diseases.
As first priority, within the project “Emergency Health Response to Floods in Kampong Chhnang Province” funded by ECHO
, Cesvi has so far distributed water and sanitation kits
including bar of soap, water safe, Orasel and IEC materials, providing clean water to 5.120 households
. The second phase of the emergency response sees Cesvi in action to develop a better understanding of the post-flood needs
. With flood waters receding, wells’ cleaning becomes the new priority
under water and sanitation to support Cambodian rural population. As matter of fact, an increased prevalence of fever and diarrhea
has resulted from the contamination of wells.
After improving and delivering rapid humanitarian assistance, Cesvi developed the post-emergency strategy
. Subsequent to the conduction of a rapid assessment in the district, visiting the majority of the wells existing in the province, Cesvi staff and technicians selected and cleaned 166 wells used by 1.844 households
, approximately 9.220 people
. Cesvi also takes care of communities’ awareness
through the knowledge spreading in order to ensure the sustainability of the wells’ cleaning.
, Cesvi Emergency Coordinator, explains: “Cesvi works in coordination with national and international NGOs, local authorities and UN agencies. As part of the ECHO project
, we supported local authorities in implementing wells’ cleaning. Soon, we are going to repair some of these 166 cleaned wells with spare parts and new platforms. Our joint effort wants to create long-term results”.