Self-determination for a struggling Nation

Uncertain times ahead

For Banteay Prieb the Jesuit  centre for disabled education these are  very difficult times  In July 2019 the Government decided to take back control of the land which  they had leased to Jesuit Services for 28 years . This happened without notice or consultation the Government workers arriving with diggers and starting to redevelop the land  . This was a great shock to students and staff alike who had no time to prepare.

The Jesuit Fathers  had to quickly  try to organise the removal of  plants and equipment in the nursery to a farm site . They took  down some of the buildings to save as many of the materials as possible for reuse before they were demolished.

At the height of the rainy season in October because of land filling there is nowhere for the rainwater to drain so they are flooded out – see the extracts from Banteay Prieb Newsletter –

The same has happened this year only this time the flooding is much worse. Production has stopped in the workshops making sculptures ,wheelchairs and sewing products. We hope they will resume in time to make items for us to sell for Christmas.  

CLIMATE CRISIS  Cambodia is one of the countries most at risk from climate change. This year after a severe drought – we have seen more frequent typhoons with higher seasonal monsoon flooding for a country where 80% of the people depend on agriculture for their livelihood this is a double disaster. 

These two ‘normal ‘events flood and drought have been worsened by man made disasters

Two articles here which help explain:

Struggling with Drought on the Mekong Climate change and dams combine to push water levels to record lows  Cambodia floods put spotlight on risk of trading lakes for land Poor planning in rush to develop worsens damage from climate change

Br Noel Oliver SJ  Has spent many years in Cambodia helping farmers develop new organic systems one is known as the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) which is a method of rice cultivation that is totally organic and produces more rice than the normal method.

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