CAMBODIA – As is so often the case these days, the people of Cambodia were already struggling with the effects of COVID-19 when another disaster came their way in the form of devastating floods.
In the midst of the rainy season, tropical storms struck the island hard, bringing damaging floods to 19 out of the nation’s 25 provinces. Rural areas, small towns, and the capital city of Phnom Penh all suffered the wrath of these storms, as flash flooding ripped through the country.
Cambodia’s disaster management committee estimates that 78,000 families needed to evacuate, and the government had to intervene in helping 9,000 families escape the danger. In the end, 25 lives were lost, around 79,000 homes damaged, and over 500 school buildings flooded. Businesses and farms also took heavy damage, creating long term struggles for many Cambodian citizens.
The Human Toll of Flooding
And as always, behind each number is an affected precious individual life. Young Souen Da offers us a poignant face to attach to this tragedy. His family already had a difficult life in Cambodia, and they’ve suffered an incredible toll from the floods.
His father once served in the Cambodian military, but a mine explosion cut his career short many years ago, and today he is disabled. So Souen Da’s mother, Yu Rom, worked hard growing and selling vegetables to support their family, which includes their two smallest children who still live at home. Then came the flood.
It took the family by surprise, waking them in the night. It was hard for Yu Rom to help her disabled husband and two small children evacuate to a safer location. By the morning, their home had suffered damage, and the crops they depended on were destroyed. Yu Rom was exhausted, and the whole family was in desperate need of hope.
Relief for Cambodia Flood Victims
Theirs is just one story out of many thousands, but you came to the rescue. With your help, Operation Blessing quickly responded with disaster relief for 155 families, including Souen Da’s. The OB outreach team employed boats and tractors and trekked through deep waters, determined to get relief to the victims in need. You sent the vital food packages and packets to purify water that had been contaminated by the flooding. Because of your compassionate support, OB also reached out and helped provide medical care for over 500 patients.
And this is only the beginning, as Operation Blessing intends to continue reaching out to flood victims in Cambodia as they rebuild their lives. Thank you for giving hope to the hopeless in their time of need.