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Cambodian farmers struggle with longer dry seasons

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Cambodia’s government says its economic will be badly damage by global warming.

80 percent of the population are farmers and they reply heavily on the rainy season.

As Khortieth Him reports, longer dry seasons are taking their toll.


Every morning, at first light, Cambodia’s fields come alive. One by one, farmers appear, their colourful scarfs dotted across the fields.

The basic rhythms of its farmers undisturbed by war or economic crisis.

But now, something strange is happening.
Jea Kim Seng has just finished plowing his land.

“The drought lasted a very long time and the weather is very hot. That courses the seedlings to died and when the rainfall comes so do the floods. Last year we also faced a drought. I am now facing difficulties.

Many farmers still plant and harvest their crops according to the stars, or the first few drops of rain.

But verteran farmer Om Chuern says the rainy season is no longer regular and it’s becoming hotter and hotter.

Scientists cannot agree how much of this is down to climate change.

But then that debate means nothing to many of those affected.

What Kong Phal, a farmer in Kandal provice knows is that its getting harder to be a farmer.

“The heat increase highly from year to year and our rain is irregular.

Dr Mok Mareth the Minister for the Environment believes the problems are due to global warming and unsustainable logging.

“Most of our Cambodian people depend on agriculture and natural resources and at the present day these sectors are being seriously threatening by the increase of people action in using natural resources inappropriately and illegal logging in some mountain areas.

It’s not only the farmers who are affected by global warming.

32 yeas old, Srey Nar- is a clothes seller in a market in the capital Phnom Penh.

“It is very hot, we can not bear it. It makes us fell ill and we can easyily get headaches and fevers. It’s the raining season but the climate is too hot, without a fan or air-condition we will die. I don’t know why, but maybe because of climate change I am not sure.

Nop Polin, from the local environmental NGO Geres says disease is on the rise along with natural disasters.

“According to the minister of the environments report, climate change has result in an dramatic increase in flooding and more droughts. Also an increase in diseases such as malaria and fever.

He argues that unsustainable logging must be stopped and the government must help farmers to create better irrigation systems.


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