Life has been very distressing for many Cambodians since severe flooding hit the country in 2011. And yet in part thanks to the amazing generosity of MaD Cambodia's supporters, there are some encouraging signs of recovery... However the rains have come early and we have already had severe storms with the roads on days being barely accessible. What this holds in store for the REAL wet season we do not yet know but what we do know is this year we would like to be prepared for any eventual flooding.Visiting UN assistant secretary-general for disaster risk reduction Margareta Wahlström commended the Cambodian government and NGOs on their efforts to prepare for rainy-season floods. “I’m convinced the country will be better prepared this year because so much attention has been given to these questions [of preparedness],” Wahlström said on the fifth day of a six-day trip to Cambodia to meet government officials and development partners. “The ministries and organisations, including local governments, are preparing and thinking about how they can have a higher level of alert for possible floods later this year,” Wahlström added. QUOTED from the Phnom Penh Post!With your help we would like to be ONE of the NGOs who is prepared and ready to deal with what Mother Nature may well throw at us again. In 5 years here I have never seen a single season the same as the previous... from droughts to severe flooding every year has surprised us!Please help us BE PREPARED AND READY!
Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Cambodia:
On March 27, I was able to join the staff of MaD Cambodia on their daily trek to the village of Prolit where the staff and volunteers have supported with everything from Moringa plants addressing malnutrition, to providing toilets, and then relief during the crisis when floods devastated Siem Reap.
Riding into the village, we passed by a small bridge made of logs. This bridge was built by MaD when the area was flooded around the road. Just by looking at the picture one would not be able to imagine the flooding just under a year ago... but beyond this picture there are still remnants like collapsed road and washed away trees to remind of what happened.
Finally, we arrived in the town and I followed the staff on their daily walk-through - checking water pumps and meeting with the villagers. I was able to see MaD's toilets, showers, water pumps, and "piggy bank". The "piggy bank" is a system where piglets are distributed to families for income generating activities. Despite all of this, I was able to hear about what happened during the flooding. MaD provided emergency food and supplies - I was told some of the families were having to live on the tops of their houses until the waters resided or they received relief.
The resilience of the villagers affected by the flooding is astonishing. At my arrival, although there were still remnants and evidence of the flooding, life was getting back to normal and finding a way to survive. The children were playing and laughing, the chickens running about, and adults working rebuilding their lives.
The local staff were like members of the village the way they worked with the citizens, and the older children wanted to sit with the volunteer coordinator, Sofi, and me to practice their English. It was wonderful to experience first hand the impact of MaD's support to this town before, during, and after crisis.
The flood waters have long gone or so it seems... to revisit the community which is now high and dry, even dusty on some days just amazes me. A few weeks ago as far as the eye could see in any direction was 10 feet plus of water... homes, livelihoods and worldly possessions washed away and destroyed. The roads remain damaged and for the most part only passable by motorcycle, but the resilience of the families is so strong - taking life a day at a time.We have replaced lost and damaged homes and we are continuing to repair sanitation units water damage and building new ones for those who had not yet had one allocated.Our work is always in TANDEM with the community and we have been grateful as has the community for this support. Thatch is being produced to replaced water damaged panels and whilst we cannot get in currently with vehicles we are able to take small amounts of materials - such as 2 bags of cement and a couple of hundred bricks - at a time in our small tuk tuk. This is however a arduous trip and has to be taken very slowly!With determination and persistence, matched by the families who have had to deal with this natural disaster - we will get back on top of things!Thank you to all who have so generously supported us and our work in feeding these families at the height of the floods... 4.5 tonnes of rice was ferried in, hundreds and hundreds of bottles of soya sauce, fish sauce, cooking oil, and thousands of cans of fish + .5 tonnes of fresh vegetables all went in to the community to feed them and keep them afloat!Without your support we would never have been able to supply so much... our work is ongoing!
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