Dry Season Floods Plague Kandal and Phnom Penh

Despite dry season being in full swing, parts of Phnom Penh and Kandal province have been hit by freak floods, causing some residents to evacuate their homes
A man walks in flooded water, January 17, 2023. Kiripost/Siv Channa
A man walks in flooded water, January 17, 2023. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Floods that impacted communities living along Stung Prek Tnaot Rver have started to recede, while some districts in Phnom Penh and Kandal have also been affected by floods in the dry season.

Prak Lak, Director of Kandal Provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology,​ told Kiripsot on Tuesday that the water levels in Stung Prek Tnaot have begun to decrease slightly and at the top started to recede. However, this water movement has increased water levels at downstream locations.

​He added that Kampong Speu province has witnessed high water levels since January 12. This led to Kandal Stung district starting to be under pressure from January 13.

A man cleans his house after being flooded in Dangkao district, January 17, 2023. Kiripost/Siv Channa
A man cleans his house after being flooded in Dangkao district, January 17, 2023. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Kandal province is an area prone to flooding that is an off-shoot of excess water from Kampong Speu province. In Kandal, the floods affected two districts and one city.

Lak also suggested that local authorities give out information and advice to people living along the river and prevent residents from building along the river as it can present challenges.

“When the road is restored and the flood comes, do not ask authorities to help prevent the construction of compensation (slums) along the river to avoid the impact as well as accidents,” Lak said.

Met Meas Pheakdey, a spokesman for Phnom Penh City Hall, told Kiripost on Tuesday that floods affected about 10 communes in the capital’s Dangkao district. The worst affected were Sak Sampov and Kong Noy communes, impacting about 2,000 families.

Muon Sinith, 39, lives in Prek Kampus village, Prek Kampus commune, Dangkor district. He told Kirpost on Tuesday that flooding occurs annually during the wet season along Stung Prek Tnaot River.

However, he remained unprepared for floods during the dry season. On January 15 and 15, residents were issued a warning to remain vigilant.​

A resident affected by flood in Dangkao district, January 17, 2023. Kiripost/Siv Channa
A resident affected by flood in Dangkao district, January 17, 2023. Kiripost/Siv Channa

“It affects our emotions, especially my small children who are not as resilient as we are. The waters receded, and I brought my son back upstairs. It took three to four days for it to dry. This time the flood was very strong and during the dry months,” Sinith said.

Bo Sophep, 66, of Prek Kampus village, told Kiripost that he was forced to flee his home due to rapidly rising waters. He added flooding is an annual occurrence during the rainy season, when the family prepares emergency bags. However, this time they were left unprepared.

“Every year because of the rainy season, we know that there will be floods and we prepare our luggage. However, this time all our clothes are left in the house,” he said.