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24 May 2016: Caritas Cambodia has launched an emergency appeal on drought, seeking a total of USD 370,928 to enable Caritas Cambodia support to 10,800 families in 24 districts in 7 provinces out of 263,733 families affected in 22 provinces of Cambodia to access to safe and functional water source. The support focuses on water management as well as the drilling of tube well, solar installation, provision of chlorine for water treatment and water pump machines and rehabilitation of the damaged tube wells.
This emergency appeal reflects the current needs of the affected families based on the information and assessment conducted by Caritas Cambodia, National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) and Cambodian Humanitarian Forum (CHF).

Brief background of the drought:
Cambodia is affected by the El Niño triggered drought that led to water shortages for both human consumption and agriculture across the country. The National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) has estimated that about 2.5 million people in Cambodia are affected across all provinces of the country. Around 18 provinces of Cambodia affected severely by drought causing water shortage, and drying out. “The country is experiencing water shortages in 18 out of 25 provinces,” said Keo Vy, a spokesman for NCDM.  "We have had drought before but it has never been at this level," he said, adding that authorities have also dug wells to try to ease the crisis.


This severe drought started from March and prolonged till July 2016. It has many impacts, particularly on the local agriculture and livelihood. At least 260,000 families worst affected and in the need of water deliveries. This includes tons of fish and hundreds of animals that are death. The drought situation does not only put people at risk of not having enough water to drink, but water scarcity is also threatening health, food security and livelihoods.  Fortunately, no people have been reported death as of now. The local authorities are working and appealing to transport water from different water sources to supply it to those in the 18 provinces facing the most serious water shortages. According to experts, the drought was likely to continue until July, with rice planting delayed until August, meaning “people will harvest less produce than previous years”. Since the impact are very vast the government of Cambodia could only response part of affected peoples and currently requested further support to complementary response to this situation.

Image for drought in Cambodia
Source: The Phnom Penh Post Newspaper
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Overall objective of emergency appeal: Uplifting the general welfare and early recovery of the drought victims. It also hopes to ensure that the needs of the drought victims and vulnerable household are met; especially drinking water, daily water use, and ways of water collecting and water treatment as well as some assistance provided to keep animal live and healthy. The overall objectives could be achieved through both immediate and medium relief activities.
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This includes the following sector support:
  • Provision of drinking water and water use: To respond to this situation, Caritas Cambodia will provide immediate accessible to water by drilling new tube wells (approx. 50-70m deep according to the standard of Ministry of Rural Development). From the drilled water sources, Caritas Cambodia will install solar water pump and water tank (as the areas are not access by electricity). Each solar water pump and water tank will have the capacity of 160,000 litters (160m3) of water per day (= 2,000 – 3,000 litters per hours x 6-8 hours per day) per station.
  • Health and Sanitation: Caritas Cambodia workers and volunteers will cooperate with commune health centre staff to support and provide health education and distributions of chlorine to treatment of water in the target areas.
  • Support for water pump machine: The provision of high capacity of water pump machine is to assist the community to pump the water from the far sources (River/Lack) to the small reservoir such as canals, check dams etc. to support the farmers in the most vulnerable communities starting their cultivation to that they can secure food for the year round.
  • Coordination and Cooperation: Caritas Cambodia has good cooperation with the National Committee for Disaster Management at all level and networking with all partners to target the beneficiaries to avoid duplication and gaps in coverage. The primary stakeholders of this program will be the victims of Drought (Water shortage) while the indirect beneficiaries will be the communities to which they belong.
    The beneficiaries (people and areas) were chosen using the following criteria:
    • The beneficiary belongs to the province which is actually hit by a disaster or declared in a state of calamity by government.
    • There is mass affected and dislocation of people.
    • Survivors are least assisted or not even reached out by government and other NGOs or agencies.
    • In cases of emergency relief assistance, participant-beneficiary selection shall preferentially option for poor families or households with highly vulnerable members, e.g., infants, children, sick and aged, and lactating or nursing mothers, people with disability.
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Coordination and partnership:
The project will be managed by Caritas Cambodia, with its emergency support team. Caritas Cambodia is having adequate experience in handling various emergency programs in the past such as floods (1998), (2000), (2002), Kampong Thom Flood (2004) and drought relief country wide (2004, 2005), border conflict displaced people (2008), Rainstorm in Siem Reap (2008), Riverbank Landslide (2008) Typhoon ‘’Ketsana” and flood (2009), border conflict in Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey (2011) response program, Flood (2011, 2012, 2013) emergency and early recovery.

Caritas Cambodia and its diocesans offices will be directly coordinating and involved with the local partners and community in the implementation process in the proposed target province. At the national level, Caritas Cambodia will facilitate and coordinating interventions for the affected areas, from consolidating reports, releasing of assistance and conducting participatory monitoring and evaluation of the relief activity. It shall also maintain close coordination with the international and local partners. Caritas Cambodia will act as the over-all in charge of the program at the national level and local level together with participation of the target communities.
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