July 03, 2023, Pursat province, Cambodia – Funded by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and ADRA Czech Republic, ARISE project team members, in collaboration with Pursat Provincial Committee For Disaster Management, conducted a provincial Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Feedback and Planning Forum for the implementation of the Adaptive Resilient Initiative for Sustainable DRR Engagement (ARISE) project. The Feedback and Planning forum was held on June 22, 2023 at the meeting hall of Pursat Provincial Health Department under the Chairmanship of Deputy Provincial Governor H.E. Lay Viseth, Chairman of Pursat Provincial Committee for Disaster Management, with 39 participants (14 female) coming from Provincial Secretariat of Disaster Management, Department of Agriculture, Department of Rural Development, Provincial Health Department, Department of Planning, the Provincial Investment Planning Office, 11 members of disaster management committees from 6 communes, 11 village leaders also ADRA staff.
The objectives of the Forum were to 1) Brief the Committee for Disaster Management and relevant authorities on the objectives, outputs, activities, indicators and timeframe of the ARISE project, 2) discuss development activities related to disaster risk reduction from the existing commune investment plan (CIP) for 2023 to 2025, 3) identify software and hardware priority activities to be developed during the project period and identified sub-priority activities for development in the following year, 4) identify DRR experiences and future plans in strengthening DRR committees to implement DRR National guidelines, strategy and methods to create DRR/CIP before designing and building DRR infrastructures and in ranking the first priorities and sub priorities for the next round if project extension, and 5) gather information related to disaster risk reduction from local authorities and stakeholders.
Group discussions identified 22 priority activities including building 7 safety hills, repairing 3 red gravel roads, installing 4 drainages across the roads, building 1 bridge, constructing 1 sluice gate and 19 sub-priority activities including 1 sluice, 1 sewer, 2 road repairs, 1 lake restoration, 3 canal restoration, 1 dam construction. Priority activities identified include to strengthen the DRR Management Committee, improve community awareness and participation, disaster evacuation and food preparation in the event of a disaster, and seed preparation of rice and vegetables after the flood. Additional priority actions include putting up warning signs to inform local residents about flood levels during the flood season and training on small grant proposals, budget withdrawals and disbursements, report writing, and tree planting in public places such as streets, rivers, schools, etc. in collaboration with the Department of Environment and the Department of Agriculture.
In support of the project H.E Lay Viseth, the Deputy Provincial Governor, stated that “ARISE comes at the right time to engage knowledge and skills for local authorities and community people to work together to design infrastructure blueprints to integrate into the DRR/CIP and construct DRR infrastructures according to the current climate change.’’