Adaptive Drought Risk Reduction in Cambodia: Reality, Perceptions and Strategies

In Environmental Hazards
Volume (Issue): 8 (4), 2009
Peer-reviewed Article
Adaptive Drought Risk Reduction in Cambodia: Reality, Perceptions and Strategies

This paper presents a case study of drought risk assessment and management in Svay Rieng province of Cambodia. Drought is a creeping disaster and has debilitating impacts on rural livelihoods and socio-economic conditions. Interviews with local communities, government administration, and non-governmental agencies indicated the lack of livelihood options that would reduce the communities’ dependence on climate sensitive sectors, lack of dependable weather forecasts and early warning systems, relief driven drought management systems, and lack of sufficient institutional presence at the local level. Through participatory processes such as focused group discussions, the local communities have identified the drought impacts, root causes and measures to reducing their drought vulnerability which include making available the drought resistant seeds, appropriate cropping strategies which are dynamic enough to change depending on the short and long term weather forecasts. There is also a need for moving the focus from the drought relief approach, which is well developed in Cambodia, to drought risk mitigation. The study has also identified that spreading the drought relief to the entire affected population through well coordinated institutional mechanisms, establishing irrigation infrastructure, community capacity building in better water management practices are key interventions for reducing the drought risks in the study areas in specific and in Cambodia in general.

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