PHNOM SROK DISTRICT, BANTAEY MEANCHEY PROVINCE, CAMBODIA — Built atop the bones of the dead, Trapaing Thmar reservoir is largest irrigation project built by the Khmer Rouge regime. Today, it is running dry amid one of the worst droughts to hit Cambodia in living memory. In northwestern Cambodia, more than 400 kilometers from Phnom Penh, the vast protected area serves as a crucially important source of water for thousands of rice farmers and their families in Phnom Srok district and other neighboring areas. Trapaing Thmar reservoir is also the habitat of numerous endangered species, including the Sarus crane, the world’s tallest flying bird. During a recent visit to the area, farmers were fishing and pumping water to their rice fields from a scattering of small ponds, all that remains of the more than 12,000-hectare reservoir.Lack of rain, wet season or dry In this part of Banteay Meanchey province, farmers remark on the lack of rain, during the wet season as well as the dry season. Cambodian farmers grow rice in both seasons. Cambodia’s rainy season typically arrives in May and ends in October and dry season runs from November until April. “It is not like before. It is worse than… Read full this story
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