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A Heifer farmer holds rice shoots during planting. Farmers often help one another during planting.

Recent heavy rains in Cambodia have caused flooding of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers affecting several provinces and Heifer farmers near the rivers, Heifer Cambodia Country Director Keo Keang reported to Heifer International headquaters Tuesday. The rivers are reaching "alarming levels" in 10 provinces of Rattanakkiri, Stung Treng, Kratie, Kompong Thom, Kompong Cham, Kandal, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Banteay Meanchey, Prey Veng and Siem Reap provinces, she said.

While more than 30 people have died because of the floods they were not in Heifer-assisted communities. Heifer farmers have only seen damage to their rice farms and some have lost animals Keang said. However, if waters continue to rise, as they are expected to do, more Heifer farmers will suffer from farm and animal loss. 

Heifer International is working with Heifer Cambodia to assess the situation, and Heifer Cambodia is working with other NGOs (World Food Program of the UN, National NGO Network) to provide assistance to flood affected families. 

Heifer Cambodia's Regional Program Manager for Northeast, Sieng Suthavark, made a visit to the communities and major flood affected area Monday and remains in contact with project holders there to monitor the projects. The regional program team will have additional details in the days to come. 

While assessments are being made, the Heifer Cambodia team is educating our beneficiaries on preventing waterborne diseases during flooding. 

All told, the floods have also forced more than 9,000 to evacuate and destroyed nearly 250,000 acres of rice fields in the country. So far nearly 70,000 homes have been damaged by the rising waters. 

We will update here with more information from Cambodia as we receive it.

Although Heifer International is not a traditional first-responder, its Disaster Rehabilitation Fund, through the support of generous donors, helps the vulnerable communities that Heifer serves to recuperate after natural disasters that temporarily overwhelm our development efforts. Contributions to the fund will help project communities meet their immediate needs and resume their path toward self-reliance.   



Annie Bergman

Annie Bergman is a Global Communications Manager and helps plan, assign and develop content for the nonprofit’s website, magazine and blog. Bergman has interviewed survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, beekeepers in Honduras, women’s groups in India and war widows in Kosovo, among many others in her six years at Heifer.