Drought Risk Reduction in Cambodia: Actions and Issues

Commissioned Report

This is the summary of the country drought risk reduction assessment done as a part of the JICA-ASEAN project on integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction into institutional and policy processes (CN 20). Drought in Cambodia is very much intertwined with the developmental state of the country and governance and finance reforms would have complimentary benefit to drought risk reduction. Land degradation due to traditional agricultural practices, poor soil management, and deforestation are the underlying factors that need to be addressed for reducing the drought vulnerability. There is a need for more emphasis on irrigation for dry season crops while shifting the focus to small-scale irrigation systems linked to decentralized renewable energy (ground and surface water pumps, on-farm water harvesting etc.) for life saving irrigation of wet season crops. The weather forecasting capabilities of the MOWRAM are primitive and they are not helpful in providing early warning on the frequent dry spells during the monsoon season. There is a need to put in place an inter-ministerial institutional mechanism for proper monitoring of drought, assisted with drought hazard, risk and vulnerability assessments and improve the coordination between the MAFF and MOWRAM.