By Christine Campeau, Climate and Food Security Advisor, Caritas Internationalis
Working on climate justice issues over the past few years, I spend a lot time learning how people around the world are adapting to climate change.
I was recently fortunate to experience a unique example of adaptability in Southeast Asia, where I took a trip to the floating villages of Kompong Khleang to see how a local community in Cambodia has dealt with the constant shift in water levels upon which they live.
Kompong Kleang is a fishing village that sits on the Tonle Sap Lake, which stretches across the northwest portion of the country. During the rainy season, this lake swells fivefold, flooding the surrounding forest floodplains and supporting an extremely diverse eco-system.
This phenomenon is natural and has nothing to do with to the effects of climate change. However, the floating village could be used as a lesson on how to […]
On 1 June Caritas along with the Ministry or the Environment and other agencies such as UNDP and Oxfam organised a seminar on climate change in the capital Phonm Penn.
About 100 people, including environmentalist, members of government institutions, NGOs and benefactors attended the seminar aimed at discussing strategies to deal with climate change.
Most people in Cambodia depend on farming for their livelihoods. 84 percent live in rural areas. Many live in high risk areas from flooding, droughts and cyclones.
Kim Rattana of Caritas Cambodia said, “One of the biggest challenges we are facing in our development work is the increasing occurrence of natural disaster. What we have achieved over many years is being destroyed by storms and washed away by floods.”
Last year, Typhoon Ketsana destroyed hundreds of homes in Cambodia. Caritas Cambodia had to provide 30,000 people with relief items and food.
Low water levels in the Mekong this year, the […]
When Caritas Cambodia found Kim Haeng in a shack in Siam Reap she was living more like an animal than a person. The 20 year-old was skeletal unwashed, eating food from the floor, and unable to speak.
Her parents died when she was five and a relative sold her to a brothel. She was a sex worker for 15 years until she became too ill to work and the brothel owner turned her out with nothing.
Caritas staff first thought she had suffered such trauma that she had withdrawn from the world forever. But they did not give up hope.
She received anti-AIDS therapy and her health started to return. She got counselling. It was a long road, with relapses including a return to prostitution, but she broke out of her psychological prison.
Now a beautiful confident young woman, she is an active volunteer, speaking out in the community for those people living […]