Cambodia: Emergency Relief Team Arrives in Flood-Affected Areas

The flooding in Bangkok, Thailand has been attracting the media’s attention daily, but in reality, the damage is far-reaching across Southeast Asia. More than 200 fatalities have been reported and over 400,000 households have had to evacuate in Cambodia, a country that AAR JAPAN has maintained close ties to since its establishment in 1979 under the mission of assisting the Indochinese refugees, and now currently supporting a vocational training center for persons with disabilities. In response to such calamities, AAR JAPAN has dispatched 2 of its staff members, Noriyasu OKAYAMA and Sanae HAYASHI, to Cambodia on November 5th, who have been assessing the total impact of the floods in the affected areas.

On November 8th, Noriyasu OKAYAMA visited the northern part of Tonlé Sap Lake in central Cambodia. Every year during the rainy season, the water level of the lake rises, submerging the entire surrounding area; however, the magnitude of the area that has flooded is more serious this year than usual.

Sanae HAYASHI has been assessing the extent of the damage along the Mekong basin near the nation’s capital, Phnom Penh, while preparing for our emergency relief activities. We plan to continue our investigation in various places and provide assistance to the areas accordingly.

November 8th, 2011- The schoolyard of an elementary school is submerged in water. (Kampong Thom Province)
November 8th, 2011- Water has flooded the site of a village house near Tonlé Sap Lake. (Kampong Thom Province)
November 8th, 2011- Noriyasu OKAYAM travels by boat to assess the flood damage in the affected areas. (Siem Reap Province)
November 8th, 2011- Cows that had been herded in the flooded area were tied along the national route to escape the water. (Kampong Thom Province)
November 8th, 2011- The swollen Mekong River has engulfed the houses in the surrounding area. (Kandal Province)
November 8th, 2011- “The water came all the way up to here,” says a villager in Kandal Province. (Kandal Province)

Noriyasu OKAYAMA, AAR JA APN Vientiane Office
Has been working in AAR JAPAN Vientiane Office since June, 2004. After graduating university, spent 2 years as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer in Bangladesh. Before joining AAR JAPAN, implemented ODA projects in Fisheries Agency, and then worked on rural development in Nepal for 5 years. (Born in Aichi Prefecture)