Flood Continues Worse and Death Tolls Rise in Thailand and Cambodia

Flood Continues Worse and Death Tolls Rise in Thailand and Cambodia

Children make the best of a bad situation as villagers paddle through a flooded street in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. Photo by Meng Kimlong/ Phnom Penh Post

Hundred-of-thousand hectares of land in Thailand and Cambodia have been submerged by the torrential rain and severe floods in recent months. The mishap has impacted countless families, rice fields and claimed hundreds of lives. The flood continues to be deteriorating.

The rain in Thailand began in July, generated by the tail end of the Nock Ten typhoon, and has caused wide-spread flooding in the north, northeast and central regions of the country. The capital, Bangkok, is also affected, as it lies only two meters above sea level.

The Chao Phraya River has overflowed into roads in some areas, although the authorities have reinforced its banks to prevent more serious flooding. More than 2 million acres of farmland there are now under water, an area 11 times the size of Singapore.

“Twenty-three provinces in the lower north and central Thailand are under water and nearly 2 million people have been affected by severe floods and heavy rain,” Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation has said.

Farmers in affected areas have been unable to harvest their crops properly and others in non-affected areas are rushing to harvest early so as to avoid having their crops washed away when the floods hit their regions. Thailand is the world’s biggest rice exporter and its main crop of the year is normally harvested from October. Despite flooding, Thailand is forecast to produce 25.1 million tons of rice in the main crop this year, up from 24 million last year. Continue reading “Flood Continues Worse and Death Tolls Rise in Thailand and Cambodia”

Cambodia’s Economy Sees Possible Growth 8.7 pc this year

Cambodia’s PM says the country’s economy will be likely to grow up to 8.7 percent this year, its highest hike in ten years.

Photo from google

Cambodia’s economy can grow as much as 8.7 percent this year, its strongest in a decade, propelled by a resurgence in its garments and tourism industries, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday.

The Cambodia government’s official estimate for economic growth in 2011 is 6 percent, but Hun Sen said that could be topped by a wide margin.

 “There is a possibility of higher growth of 8.7 percent,” Hun Sen told a graduation ceremony at a university in the capital Phnom Penh, agreeing with an estimate by a local think-tank, the Economic Institute of Cambodia (EIC).

 Hun Sen, however, cautioned that “unclear economic situations in the US and Europe” will affect the country and that Cambodia should diversify its economy into other sectors such as agriculture and mining.

Arsenic Concerns in Prey Veng

A man in Prey Veng Provincial Peam Chor District Has Contracted a lot of arsenic wounds on his palms, legs and body.

By Sun Narin

Living in Sambuo village of Peam Chor district located in Prey Veng province, a forty-year old peasant, Pin Komsan, is staying on the wooden bed and has no longer worked in the farm since his arsenic disease was deteriorating a few years ago. He consumed the arsenic water in the well more than ten years without realizing the effects at all.

“I have been in the operation three times. First, there are a lot of small wounds on my legs and then they become the infected wound,” he said.

“Now I stop thinking about it [disease] because I am not the only one who contracted the disease,” he said.

Prey Veng is one of the provinces along Mekong River which are at the risk of the arsenic substance in the well. According to figures released by the Department of Water Supply at the Ministry of Rural Development in 2010, about 150,000 people living along the Mekong and Bassac rivers are consuming arsenic-contaminated drinking water for at least part of the year.

Andrew Shantz, laboratory and research director for Resource Development International Cambodia said that most of Peam Chor district is affected by Arsenic contamination.

“The more exposure, the more consumption you have in your body, the higher probability you contract the arsenic cancer,” he said, adding that his organization does not do much work in Prey Veng because it is quite far. Most of the activities are in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district.

There are roughly 80 wells in Sambuo village and most of them contain the over exposed arsenic contamination which they cannot use it, according to the commune chief. Another village Prek Chrov in the same commune whose 99 percent of the wells are arsenic contamination.

Sun Yim, Sam Bou commune chief, said that the villagers still use well and filter water in the dry season but now they can use rain water and river water for their daily life since it is the raining season. Now in his commune there is only one water filter for the whole consumption in the community. However, he complained that it is not enough for the using in the community as a whole.

“Though people are aware of the disease, some still use the arsenic water because they are far away from the arsenic-free water. They are not afraid at all,” he said. Continue reading “Arsenic Concerns in Prey Veng”