A climate change project with triple benefitsJun 29, 2015Prey Veng – Rain finally started to fall, as the month of May just started. That gave Mr. Phy Hoeun, a farmer, a sense of relief after having waited anxiously for the rain to feed his young rice seeds.
“As long as there are some rains, there will be water in the canal to irrigate my rice field when it needs water,” he said. The 52-year-old farmer has increased rice production to up to three times per year in the past few years.
In Cambodia, villagers take entrepreneurial step in solving water woeJun 24, 2015Kampong Speu - First he thought about it and now he is making it happen. That is a new water distribution plan that Mr. Long Thim is overseeing in his village of Kraing Serey, in Kampong Speu province, and when it is completed by the end of 2015, more than 500 families in the neighbouring villages will have running water up to kitchen all year round.
Mine clearance restores children’s hope for educationJun 23, 2015In a normal progression, 12-year-old Kimleang should have been in Grade 5 already by now having started primary school in 2009. But she is still studying in Grade 3, falling two years behind.
Problem? Not because of a weak learning ability or family's poor economic situation that held her back. It is the landmines – the deadly legacy of Cambodia’s past conflicts that continues to deny opportunities for rural children like her from getting proper education and pursuing their dreams.
Scaling-up climate adaptation measures through sub-national planningMay 7, 2015Imagine a life in a village which faces extreme water shortage at least five months a year. To survive, the residents have to make daily six kilometer round trip to get water from an artificial reservoir created by a construction company that had carved out the earth to build road.
Saving palm sugar business one stove at a timeMay 7, 2015Kampong Chhnang – Making palm sugar is an occupation that many Cambodian villagers do after rice harvest to earn additional income. Twice daily, men scale up and down palm trees to tap the juice to boil down in giant pots to extract concentrated sugar.
Drip irrigation helps address villagers’ farming challengesMay 7, 2015Siem Reap – It was mid-afternoon and Ms. Sim Eang, 42, was preparing to water the eggplants she is growing in her front lawn. Normally, she would make rounds of carry buckets of water on her shoulder to feed the plants, but not anymore.
Diversified farming gives villagers hope for better livelihoodsMay 7, 2015Preah Vihear - Despite the scorching heat, Ms. Roun March kept toiling in the vegetable garden, her face protected from the sun by a large rim of the hat she was wearing.
"I used to earn a living by laboring in the rice field for other people. It is an unstable job where you become jobless as soon as the harvest is over," said the 48-year-old woman.
Backyard fish farm – an answer to food insecurity in rural areasMay 7, 2015SIEM REAP – In the past when he needed fish for his wife to cook food, Mr. Say Sorn would fetch a net to cast in the canal in his village. These days he can just get it right from his backyard – a landscape occupied by a giant water filtration tank, hatching containers, and 12 fish ponds holding altogether about three tons of fish.
Welcome to Mr. Say Sorn’s fish farm – a positive model of how family fish breeding like his can help ensure food security for the rural population in Cambodia.
Women at the core of protecting forests, reducing carbon emissionsMay 7, 2015KAMPONG CHHNANG - “If we have forests, we have life,” 61 year old Saing Mao harps Cambodia’s national creed as a testament to women’s increasing awareness and involvement in protecting its forests. Saing Mao, Vice Chair of her commune’s Community Forest Management Committee (CFMC), is one of hundreds of women trained through UNDP’s Sustainable Forest Management project. This initiative, funded through the Global Environment Facility, supports the Cambodian Government in implementing its priority actions in the National Forest Management Programme.
Crop diversification builds stronger communities to tackle climate changeMay 7, 2015Preah Vihear– The sun has just emerged in the horizon but Cambodian farmer Tum Heng was already working in full swing in his vegetable garden. After watering the vegetables, he made his rounds fetching cow manure to spread on newly paved rows where yard-long bean and cucumber were going to be on.
Village’s savings group keeps livelihoods afloatMay 7, 2015Koh Kong – Fisherman Srun Bun Thuon saw his family’s life hopelessly crumble seven years ago when the fisherman had to sell off his house to repay a microfinance debt.
“Even our daughter’s earrings were not spared. I took them off her ears to sell to pay off the debt,” the fisherman’s wife, Nhek Sophy, said, recalling the family’s misfortune in 2007.
Solar panels bring lights to rural homesMay 7, 2015KAMPONG CHHNANG – Using generator to recharge car batteries is the common method of how rural households that still remain off the national grid get electricity. But in Kampong Chhnang province, the utility has just gotten a little hi-tech.
Eco-tourism gives women a new lease of lifeMay 7, 2015Siem Reap – When it was her turn, Tooch Yi maneuvered her wooden boat to the dock to pick up two tourists and began paddling away. Other women paddlers followed suit in an orderly fashion to give visitors a tour of the flooded forest in Kampong Phluk commune in northern Cambodia.
Woman wins model farming award in CambodiaMay 7, 2015A Cambodian woman who used to rely on doing odd jobs for a living has become one of the top five winners in the latest round of farming competition organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
Solar-powered pumps bring water into rural homes in CambodiaMay 7, 2015Kratie – Clean water is a commodity often hard to come by for Cambodians living in the countryside. For the most part, running water is simply unheard of.
That is beginning to change now for many villagers in Kratie province, about 315 kilometers northeast of the capital Phnom Penh. Pumping systems powered by solar energy channel clean water straight into people’s homes that are not even connected to the main power grid.
Restored canal helps farmers triple rice yieldMay 7, 2015Takeo – Farmer Tous Sok Heang carefully jots down in a notepad the number clocked on the scale each time a sack of rice is put on it to weigh. The rice buyer does too for his own record. The last sack is lifted from the scale and the buyer hands her US$200 in down payment, promising to pay up the rest later.
From a water scarce to a water supplier – a tale of one Cambodian villageMay 7, 2015Kampong Speu - The late morning heat was building up and Nuon Chhuon realized it’s time to give his pigs a shower.
“They need to be hosed at least three times a day to cool off,” the 69-year-old farmer said, referring to the 10 piglets that were busy competing for their mother’s milk in the pen. “My son plans on getting married and this is where he will get his wedding money from.”
Water: where small initiatives help communities thriveMay 7, 2015KAMPONG SPEU - Sao Bin, a 38-year-old farmer province, used to walk three kilometers every day to collect water for drinking, cooking and washing. These days, he has access to clean water since his house was connected to a pipe system in 2013.
In Chambok commune, Kampong Speu province, some 630 homes now have access to round-the-clock running water. More than 3,000 villagers who, until recently, could only afford to bathe every other day now have water.
Pipe water system offers villagers a fresh startMay 7, 2015Kampong Speu, Cambodia – There is virtually no free space left in the backyard of Kri Ven’s house. Rows of water convolvulus, cabbage, radish and sugar cane are crowding his 300-square meter land after his home got connected to a pipe water system.
In Cambodia, student gardeners get hands-on lessons in climate adaptationMay 7, 2015Just one month after vegetable seeds were provided to the school director and teachers, Kok Srolao Primary School compound is now lush and green. Packing rice from home, some students and teachers come to school in the early morning to make breakfast with vegetables grown in the schoolyard.
Cambodian Buddhist monk wins UNDP environmental awardMay 7, 2015Holding burning incense sticks in his hands, Buddhist monk Bun Saluth chanted a ritual normally held for Cambodians seeking good luck. But this time the subject blessed by his holy water was not a person. It was a three-metre python he bought from a farmer who was about to sell it as food.
“Go, go, and be safe,” the monk said as he watched the snake slither to freedom in a protected forest area in Oddar Meanchey province in northwestern Cambodia.
Kuy Samoeun - a succesful model in integrated farmingMay 7, 2015PHEAR VIHEAR – To a group of eight villagers Ms. Kuy Samoeun explained how to make organic pesticide cocktail to prevent bugs from destroying vegetables. On a wooden bed in front of them were a dozen types of natural ingredients that included wild roots, garlic, lemon grass, chili, ginger, and tobacco.
Lao delegation learns organic farming tricks from Cambodian neighborsMay 7, 2015It was time for lunch but the Laotian guests still kept asking questions and busy jotting down notes about formula for making organic pesticide and fertilizer. Their Cambodian host, Ms. Kuy Sameun showed no sign of tiredness either as she, a model integrated farmer, told them all the tricks of organic farming they wanted to know.
VPD – a radio by and for persons with disabilitiesDec 3, 2014PHNOM PENH – “Welcome to our Global Knowledge programme on the Voice of Persons with Disabilities broadcasting from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap province (FM92.25 MHz) and Preah Sihanouk province (FM88.75 MHz).”
Stripped of landmines, land bears fruitSep 17, 2014For more than a decade, Khit Sarin and her neighbors lived on a strip of land suspected to be contaminated with landmines in Pailin province. Without enough resources to settle in a safer area, they decided to risk it and stayed on. When a landmine exploded one day in Sarin’s backyard and killed her cow, she contacted the local government and asked for help.
Helping disadvantaged Cambodians get ready to voteJun 3, 2014When Cambodia held local election in June 2012, Bunthoeun Tola, a member of P’nong indigenous group in Mondul Kiri province, was turned away from the polling station. The reason was that his name on the voter list did not match the one on his ID card. He should have checked it beforehand but he did not and, as a result, he was barred from voting.
Working to strengthen its local administration, Cambodia looks to Indonesia for modelJun 3, 2014Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Returning from a recent official visit to Indonesia, Mr. Dy Sophan, director of Department of Political Affairs, Ministry of Interior, only hoped that one day Cambodia will have a local administration structure that is strong in its role to deliver services and be more accountable to its constituents. In Indonesia, he said, the local authorities are able to perform their duties effectively because of the establishment of Local Government Associations (LGA).
UNDP brings indigenous people radio experiences from Laos to CambodiaJun 3, 2014Ratanak Kiri – Since 2007, the Jarai indigenous people have been enjoying a radio programme in their own language, which helps to inform them about news concerning their community and beyond. But the problem is it is too short. Its daily broadcast hours should be extended.
Donor representatives witnessing mine clearance effortJun 3, 2014Battambang –There is something unnerving about treading through a mango plantation in the village of Kouk Roka in Battambang province. A roped-off dirt trail indicates the hazard underfoot: undetonated landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). Despite the indulgence of being led along a safe path by demining professionals wielding specialised dogs and equipment, there was a respectful hush among the visiting donors.
In Cambodia, local leaders embrace 'scorecard' as planning toolJun 3, 2014Preah Sihanouk – At their recent meeting, Kampenh commune officials in this coastal province of Cambodia were presented with a spider graph showing status of various development indicators. In the areas of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases, the commune scored 25 out of 100 points. The obtained point is way below average of 50 and that means, on this front, local officials still have a lot to do in their work plan.
Women deminers take on a man’s jobJun 3, 2014They’re young, female and fearless. Meet the deminers who boldly take risks by clearing landmines in the most contaminated areas in Cambodia.
Ruot Sreyla is 24 and mother to a three-year old boy. Five years ago, she lived in Pursat Province, tilling farmland for a daily wage of KHR 12,000 ($3). When she learned about a job opportunity as a deminer in neighboring Battambang province, she signed up for the training.
Safer ground: where crops, not landmines, are plantedJun 3, 2014For many small hold farmers in western Cambodia, farming can be a risky business. Not only are landmines and explosive remnants of war a safety hazard, but they also hinder agricultural productivity which is often a ticket to a better income and greater food security for poor families.
De-mining transforms former battleground into field of hopeJun 3, 2014Battambang – Farmer Prak Chrin paced slowly as she dropped green bean seeds into shallow holes on the ground. Nearby, her son, a hoe in his hands, was carving up the holes for the seeds in the family’s new farmland in a far-flung northwestern part of Cambodia.
Young Cambodians engage in civic lifeNov 1, 2013Swedish Ambassador Anne Höglund recently had a close-up look at the production of Loy9 programme’s TV magazine by visiting the filming crew on site on the outskirt of Phnom Penh capital. The crew was made up mostly of young men and women who are trying to send a message that they too can help make a difference in the community life.