Climate-Proof Roads for Cambodia's Western Region

Over 500 kilometers of roads in six provinces in Western Cambodia are being rebuilt and repaired under a flood damage emergency reconstruction project. The region is crucial to the country's agrarian-based economy.


VO: This is Cambodia’s rice growing plant. The North Western part of the country produces much of Cambodia’s export quality rice. The region is crucial to Cambodia’s agrarian-based economy. But the country experienced devastating floods in 2011, cost more than 600 million dollars in economic  loses and major damage to infrastructure. Powerful storms lashed the region once again in 2013. Rivers overflowed making recovery efforts even more challenging.

SOT: Eric Sidwick
Country Director
Cambodia Resident Mission – ADB
What I think everybody knows and understands is that climate change is now a global issue and it is also an issue for Cambodia. So the patterns are changing  but it does mean that for reconstructing infrastructure that has been affected by the floods we need to pay more attention now to how to build that infrastructure to be more climate proof to future floods because they are likely to reoccur.

VO: The ADB is leading the flood damaged emergency reconstruction project working along side the government of Cambodia, other key development partners, include the government of Australia. The project has a budget of almost 70 million dollars towards rebuilding and repairing of  more than 500 kilometers of roads, 6 bridges and more than 2 dozens irrigation systems. Six of Cambodia’s most severely affected provinces will benefit: Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Prey Veng, and Siem Reap, as well as Battambang and Banteay Meanchey. The project will strengthen community based disaster risk reduction that cripple the nation in those places.

SOT: Khoeun Ya
Farmer, Nikum Kandal Village
Battambang Province, Cambodia
Before we had this protective dike, life was very difficult for us when the floods came. We had problems to get our fertilizer to our rice fields and had to do it by boat; Before this big canal was rebuilt we didn’t’ have enough water. Since this irrigation canal was rebuilt we can now have two crops of rice per year.

VO: During the worst periods of flooding the roads became unusable as a result the poorest and vulnerable household were most affected particularly women and children.

SOT: Soeurk Chantra
Villager, Angkor Khmao Tey Village
Banteay Meanchey Province
If the children now get sick they can get to a clinic in time. Now its easy for the school children to get to school. Once the road has been rebuilt access will be better and we can transport our agricultural goods to the market or the traders can even come directly to us to buy our products. So our profits have increased.

VO: Once completed in 2015, the upgraded infrastrucutre will help reduced poverty by increasing agricultural productivity, and improving access to markets, schools, and social services