The Mekong River started to rise in early August 2011, with the water level rising significantly when Typhoons Nesat and Nalgae, in late September and early October, brought heavy rain. Eighteen out of twenty four provinces and municipalities have subsequently been inundated and over 1.7 million people affected. The damage to public infrastructure includes roads (national, provincial, and rural), irrigation and water resources facilities, water supply and sanitation facilities (mostly small scale rural), schools, and health centers. The flooding posed a serious challenge to development and the livelihoods of people; particularly on the poor and socially disadvantaged, such as women and children.
In response to the needs for damage restoration, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a $55 million loan to rebuild national, provincial, and rural roads; bridges; and irrigation systems damaged in Cambodia’s catastrophic 2011 floods, and to improve disaster risk management in the country. The Government of Australia, through the Australian Government Overseas Aid Program (AusAID), is providing a $5.25 million grant as cofinancing for the project and the Royal Government of Cambodia is contributing $6.93 million. These efforts are complementing considerable investments by the Royal Government of Cambodia from the government budget. The $67.18 million Flood Damage Emergency Reconstruction Project (FDERP) will rebuild or repair 524 km of roads, six bridges, and 26 irrigation systems in six severely affected provinces: Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Prey Veng, and Siem Reap.
As a framework for structuring the Project activities, the restoration of flood damaged infrastructure has been divided into three stages as follows:
- Stage 1 – Immediate repairs to re-establish use of the infrastructure on a temporary basis and restore minimum functioning levels. The most urgent work has already been implemented by the RGC using its own resources.
- Stage 2 – Fast track repairs where it is necessary to substantially repair the damage before the next wet season to secure the existing (undamaged) works and thus avoid more extensive damage in the coming wet season. Urgent preparation of packages under this stage has been the emphasis of the line ministries; in addition, the RGC has already allocated funding that will partially cover the work required.
- Stage 3 – Remaining flood damage restoration to complete the remaining damage repairs, preferably within the following two dry season construction periods