Cambodia Celebrates Day for Disaster Management

AKP Phnom Penh, October 13, 2014 –

More than 1,200 students, teachers, monks, nuns, soldiers, police officers, journalists, civil servants and NGO workers on Oct. 13 marched across key public sites and repeated key messages related to disaster management at Kampot province to mark International ASEAN Day for Disaster Management.

Under the theme of ‘Communities Step Up for Resilience’, the event aimed to promote a more disaster resilient and safer community by building public awareness and highlighting the roles and responsibilities of community as well as local authorities.

Funded by DG ECHO and twelve non-governmental organizations, the event to align with the regional and international momentum was trying to spread the message across Cambodia, although coastal Kampot province was identified as its venue.

“Almost every year, Cambodia faces with disasters such as floods, drought, storm, lightning, communicable diseases, fire and the like. Disaster awareness among the public is therefore very essential,” said H.E. Nhim Vanda, Senior Minister and First Vice President of the National Committee for Disaster Management who presided over the event.

The senior minister also added that the local authorities at all levels have their indispensible part to play.

According to Plan International Cambodia’s Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist Mr. Heng Sok who shared his keynote on behalf of all NGO partners, the results of the event will substantively inform a post 2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction that actively seeks to reflect and respond to the needs of vulnerable groups in the communities, children, women, the elderly and people with disability.

Experience so far indicates that in time of disaster such as floods, women encounter more difficulty in their daily life and children attribute to 80 percent of the lives lost.

In addition to the marching, the event engaged different major activities such as quiz, children, women and community sharing their experiences, singing of disaster management-related songs and display of publications.

By Mom Chan Dara Soleil

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