For Porn Kong the road to recovery, following major flooding in her village in 2011, involved just that – rebuilding roads. When the largest flood in a decade inundated her village it not only ruined crops and home gardens, but took out the road which is a vital link for her village in southern Cambodia.
Porn, 56, is a single-mother responsible for providing for her 25 year old son who is blind from an injury he sustained 10 years ago. When the floods destroyed her crops and home garden things were looking dire for Porn and her son.
Porn recalls “We have had floods before, but last year it was serious and hard for my daily living as my crops were destroyed”. While minor flooding is to be expected each year, the scale of the 2011 floods and the long duration that flood waters lingered meant crops were ruined. This was a region-wide problem with over 10 per cent of crops destroyed and over 1.2 million people affected.
CARE acted quickly to respond to this disaster and partnered with Porn’s village to provide food for work, emergency food supplies and seeds for planting. One of the first priorities was to rebuild the road which had been damaged during the floods. Porn participated in the road re-building project and received much needed rice for her work. She says “I was pleased to join the activity to get rice for my family”.
Porn had another run of bad luck with a fall from her stilted house a few weeks after the flood, resulting in a broken leg and hand injury. CARE continued to support Porn and her son during this challenging time and they received food relief including essential items such as rice, cooking oil and fish in the months following the flood.
Porn also received vegetable seeds to replant her home garden and this has already started to provide some income, she recently sold 10kg of eggplant and 5kg of vegetable seed. Porn also intends to keep some seeds for next season. Having seeds in reserve is important to be able to plant future crops and build a sustainable food supply.
Reflecting upon the range of assistance she received Porn says “I feel very happy, thank you CARE for the support”. Despite the many challenges she has faced, Porn is determined to focus on the future and improve her crops. With seeds in reserve Porn is now well on the road to having a lasting food supply.