“Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.”
One billion dollars in damage says the Bangkok Post. Too much rain falling and too many liters over flowing its riverbanks this season in Cambodia – worst in over a decade. I was in Phnom Penh back in October of 2010 and saw some serious flooding. A little scary here and there and I was only visiting. The airport was closed down for two days and for a while I thought I was going to have to be evacuated in a helicopter. Sounds exciting. Okay so I’m a bit of a romantic.
So far this season 300,500 hectares of rice paddies have been destroyed, almost 241 km of national roads and 3,100 km of gravel roads affected. That’s some serious damage to an infrastructure that’s been compromised for some time now.
This year I’m heading back with a small team to visit a few projects I have been involved with an organization called: Speroway. They meet needs They deliver hope.
We’re travelling with Rick Campanelli from Entertainment Tonight Canada. It’s going to be great. We’ll be learning a little bit about the country, its people and about long term, sustainable and effective development in Stung Treng. It’s an at risk community in an at risk province in North Eastern Cambodia. AOC a local organization is doing some development that is ground breaking and very much needed in the region. The town is about 50 km from the Laotian border and the ADB talks of ripe development over the next 20 years. If I had money I would invest. The country needs investors willing to take some risks in a resource rich area. Open a coffee farm and maybe a Khmer bookshop. Nice combo it seems to me.
The flooding has affected over 418,000 families and approximately 208,200 houses, 1,390 schools, and 500 pagodas have been buried under water. That’s a lot of natural destruction. Mother nature is not so motherly this time. Why don’t we stop calling it Mother? There’s often nothing motherly about it. Think
I just made a comment about gender disparity, but that’s another blog. Look for it.
The view of the landscape from the window seat as we fly into Phnom Penh airport will be troubling at best. It will look like a country covered in water. Under siege.
The floods will recede, people will rebuild and Cambodians will continue to fight for a beautiful country that is beginning to proudly make its way into the 21st century.