The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in mainland Southeast Asia between latitudes 10° and 15° N and longitudes 102° and 108° E. Cambodia covers an area of 181,035 km2 with a total population of 14.7 million people (CIA, 2011). Approximately 80 percent of this population lives in rural areas. The country is classified as being among the least developed in the world, with a GDP per capita of US $297 in 2002 (NIS, 2003). The country’s economy has grown considerably over the past several years, with manufacturing, tourism and agriculture representing major economic sectors (USDS, 2010). Cambodia faces particularly acute challenges related to climate change including a need to build domestic capacity to address challenges related to health, agriculture and water resources. Administratively, the country is divided into 20 provinces and 4 municipalities with a total of 183 districts and 1,609 communes (NIS, 2004). The climate is characterized by a dry season from mid November to mid May and a rainy season from mid May to mid November. The annual average temperature is 27°C, and rises to a maximum of 38°C in April or May and falls to a minimum of 14°C in January or December.
Father of three and motor mechanic Mr. Nop Khemara, 37, has been measuring and recording rainfall in his village for around seven years. His task – for which he receives some small compensation but carries out with a sense of community responsibility – is an important one. The data is recorded by the government to monitor and predict weather in the area. Technology is advancing and recently, an Automatic Weather Station was voluntarily installed by the provincial authorities in his family’s yard. The new station automates the measurement of wind, air temperature and relative humidity, evaporation, solar radiation, and soil moisture and soil temperature. Download to read more.
Ms. Oak Iet, 46, is a fulltime official with the Provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology in Koh Kong, southwest Cambodia. Each and every day for the past two years, Iet has been manually checking a simple rain gauge in her backyard. Her task is to log the data and report it the provincial authorities. In June 2018, with the family’s permission, an automatic weather station was installed by the Provincial Department in the family’s garden. Iet says the more detailed and accurate information gathered from the automatic weather station will be very helpful to farming families who will be able to check the conditions real- time and know what is coming. Download to read more.
Mr. Oum Ryna is the Director of Meteorology of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology. He played a key role in the development of the country’s meteorological services. "After the Pol Pot regime, we had no resources whatsoever, let alone for meteorology.The first thing we did, then, was to collect available knowledge and people, and to rebuild with support from different sources. We faced a lot of challenges, because this work is unlike others: it requires a lot of modern equipment. At the time, we only had our eyes." Download to read more.
Profile of Mr. Seng Sopha, Hydro- Meteorological Officer at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology at the Provincial Department in Kompong Cham Province, Cambodia.
Sitting by the river near a recently installed Automatic Weather Station, he recounts its rich history as the country’s first meteorology station. He explains at the beginning of the last century, an outpost was established in the town of Kompong Cham. For the French administration, it was a strategic trade point on the Mekong River. The building remained undisturbed until the Khmer Rouge when it suffered minor damages. Download to read more.