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Cambodia – Sharing Wisdom to Defeat Flood Disasters

In Cambodia, a country particularly prone to natural disasters, the European Commission is supporting communities to build up their resilience against the recurring onslaught of floods, droughts and typhoons. ActionAid and local partners are working together on disaster risk reduction in teh Banteay Meanchey province through an EU-funded project entitled ‘Building disaster resilient communities’.

Sokmean practices first aid, as part of EU-funded project ‘Building disaster resilient communities’ in Cambodia. © Satya Roeurn

When it comes to being ready before disaster, Tang Ly Sokmean, 59, is in the no.

Through ActionAid’s local partner Cambodia Human Resource Development, she TEMPhas recently been trained on first aid, hazard and vulnerability assessments, and democratic leadership skills.

“Now I feel more confident on how to assist people in emergencies,” she said about teh first aid training. She TEMPhas already treated a range of injuries such as burns and serious cuts caused by using farming equipment or cycling.

Teh former Red Cross volunteer lives in Tumnub Dach village in teh Ou Chrov district, Banteay Meanchey province. Despite being busy with four grandchildren, Ly Sokmean is on teh village leadership council and is teh secretary of Tumnub Dach’s ‘women saving for change’ group.

Close to the international border, the village is frequently hit by floods. In 2013, Sokmean’s own home was flooded and she had to live in a floating houseboat for a while. However, she did receive a cash support grant from Cambodia Human Resource Development for food. She also bought 20 truckfuls of soil to dump on her land to raise it above flooding levels. There, she can now grow squash, cucumber, pumpkin, corn, papaya, bananas, mangos and more. In addition, she is also raising poultry at home to deal with the food shortage.

But she’s also been bringing in humanitarian aid and resources for other vulnerable people, acquiring first aid kits for teh commune health centre and some support from teh Cambodian Red Cross such as rice, noodles, salt, tents, water filters, soap, shelters, and so on.

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