Cambodia: We Have Distributed Relief Supplies to Those Affected by the Floods

In response to the widespread flooding in Southeast Asia, AAR JAPAN dispatched 2 staff members, Noriyasu OKAYAMA and Sanae HAYASHI, to Cambodia on November 5th in the effort to provide emergency assistance to those affected by the disaster. On November 15th, we distributed food items and non-food relief supplies to 300 households around Khsach Kandal District of Kandal Province, a suburban area of the nation’s capital Phnom Penh.

Distributing Supplies in Khsach Kandal District, where the Majority of the Disaster Victims Have Been Left Out from Aid and Relief

Of the 120,000 households of Khsach Kandal District of Kandal Province, 12,200 homes had been affected by the floods. One to two months had passed since the water inundated the floors inside many homes, and fields were also severely damaged, greatly affecting those who depend on farming. According to the leader of the Khsach Kandal District, approximately 4,300 households have received support so far, but the rest have been completely neglected.

November 15th, 2011- We distribute the items at a yard of a temple. The people gathered with their tickets that were given to them in advance. On the left is Sanae HAYASHI of AAR JAPAN.

AAR JAPAN distributed relief supplies to 300 households, specifically focusing on persons with disabilities, elderly people, widows and other individuals who tend to be marginalized during disasters. Our activities would not have been possible without the help of Socheat, the ex-director of a vocational training center for persons with disabilities in Phnom Penh that AAR JAPAN had supported in the past, who assisted us throughout the damage-assessment and procurement process of the project.

“Our fields have been damaged and we didn’t know what to do. Thank you for your support.”

November 15th, 2011- On the left isMs. Mon Chamroeun, who received a set of relief supplies. On the right is Socheat, who assisted us in the distribution process. She is the ex-director of a vocational training center for persons with disabilities that AAR JAPAN had helped operate in the past.

Ms. Mon Chamroeun (40 years old), who lives with her 70 year old mother and her younger sister’s family, was born without her lower legs below the knees as well as her right hand. She supported her family weaving textile, but her source of income was cut off when the flooding made it impossible for her go to the local market. Between the months of September and October, the water level around her house rose to about 1 meter and her rice and sugarcane fields were damaged. They had supported themselves using the money that her younger sister had saved up. “We are thankful for the rice and other food items, as we had not received aid from elsewhere. We really need money to purchase the things we need,” said Ms. Mon Chamroeun.

November 15th, 2011- Mr. So Samnang (left) and his brother-in-law (right) came to collect the relief supplies.

“The seedling and vegetables that we had planted were wiped out by the flooding. Until we’re able to replant and harvest everything all over again, we must find a way to feed ourselves,” said Mr. So Samnang (40 years old). An accident caused left him blind at the age of 6, and he and his family are currently relying on farming to make their living. From September until November, the water level was knee-high, and it was impossible for Mr. So Samnang to leave the house because of his visual impairment. With a big smile, he said, “We appreciate the food you have provided us. Thank you.”

Cambodians Helping Each Other Through the Tough Times

Since we had announced in advance that the relief supplies were too heavy for one person to carry home, the people gathered to collect the items with their friends and families. Those who carried home the items on their bicycles and trucks had bright smiles on their faces. This reminded us that the people are overcoming such tough times by supporting each other among their families and local communities. We were touched and inspired by their vigor.

We plan to continue distributing relief supplies in Siam Reap Province, an area with much bigger damages. We are thankful for your ongoing support of AAR JAPAN.

November 15th, 2011- A mother and her daughter take home the relief supplies on a bicycle.

November 15th, 2011- Family members returning home on a bed of their truck. It was a heartwarming scene

November 15th, 2011- The local neighbors helped us unload the items from our truck.

November 15th, 2011- Sanae HAYASHI, Socheat, and Noiyasu OKAYAMA from the left. We handed a set of supplies to a man who was wounded in an accident involving an unexploded ordnance.

Distributed items per family

Food items: 20 kg of rice, 1 kg of salt, 400 ml of oil, 450 ml of soy sauce, 750 ml of fish sauce, 10 cans of canned fish
Non-food items: 1 mosquito net, 4 bars of soap, 0.8 kg of detergent, 1 pack of women’s sanitary product, 1 bucket

Sanae HAYASHI, AAR Tokyo office
Has principally been in charge of projects in Myanmar at the Tokyo office since June 2010. Worked at a private company after graduating university. Studied anthropology at graduate school in England and worked at an international organization before joining AAR JAPAN. Has taken responsibility for relief projects in Sri Lanka and Myanmar (Burma). (Born in Tochigi Prefecture)