Rainstroms hit Battambang in Cambodia, destroying homes and livelihoods. Credit: Caritas Cambodia.

Two people died and around 30 houses were destroyed after rainstorms hit Cambodia’s Battambang province on 4 May. An estimated 116 families in seven villages were affected by rainstorm in Preytralach. Among all the destroyed houses, 20 were fully destroyed while 18 were 70 percent destroyed.

Caritas Cambodia responsed by providing people hit by the bad weather with food aid (rice, fish sauce, salt, sugar and canned fish.)and non-food items (tents, water filters). Caritas also gave Riels 600,000 to each family (about Euros 120 or $150).

Caritas  has also been working on emergency response and recovery for short, medium and long-term. To recover lost livelihoods in the medium response, the national Caritas will support survivors with rice seed and they will rebuild and repair their houses for long-term response.

Cambodia is prone to frequent climate events that threaten food security, such as floods and droughts. According to the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), 247 people were killed in last year’s floods and 1.64 million people were affected – 70,000 of whom were children. One hundred thousand hectares of rice paddy had also been damaged. NCDM recently reported that in the first four months of 2012 six people have died.

The UN is urging Cambodia to focus on the need for greater disaster risk reduction programmes.

Caritas Cambodia helped organise a national forum on “Pre-Season Monsoon to Enhance Food security through the Utility of Seasonal Climate Forecasts to Manage Climate Risks”  3-4 May in Phnom Penh.

Around 100 delegates came from the relevant government agencies, UN Agencies, international and local NGOs, donors, the academic and research communities to participate in the forum. It provided an opportunity for dialogue between climate scientists and producers, traders, extension agents, government planners and development partners.

Caritas says understanding and making effective use of available climate information is therefore critical to the sustainable development of agriculture.

source: Caritas Cambodia