Self-protection against flood in Cambodia

by Chou Phanith

This research investigated (1) the change in Cambodian’s preference for self‑protection against natural disasters, (2) how groups can influence communities toward self‑protection, (3) the collective community investments to reduce the expected losses associated with natural disasters, and (4) the existing social institutions in Cambodian communities that improved their voluntary contribution to the protection against disasters’ interdependent risk. Based on results, the respondents were knowledgeable about flood characteristics, which prompted them to adopt mitigation strategies. In structural mitigation, they built houses 6 meters above the ground to protect themselves and their properties from flood. They also contributed money, labor, or materials to build temporary shelters or evacuation areas to be used during flood events. In nonstructural mitigation strategies, most of them monitored warning information as part of their disaster risk reduction strategy. Farmers also shifted to diversified farming and based their farming activities on the flooding period to reduce agricultural damages. Crop diversification was also practiced. Majority of the respondents accessed micro-credit to finance farm inputs. The local people had very community initiative; they helped each other during flood events. The government helped build infrastructure and provided emergency response and preparedness initiatives; NGOs also did the same but on a smaller scale. Buddhist monks also provided shelter, food, and micro-constructions during flood disasters.

  • Publication Year: 2016
  • Country: Cambodia
  • Research Area: Behavioral Economics and Social Capital
  • Research Topic: Adaptation Practices/Projects, Climate Change Impacts
  • Analytical Framework: Behavioral/Experimental Economics
Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia