Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"
The King will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." .......Matthew 25

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ketsana skirts Cambodia

Ketsana seems to be skirting past Northern Cambodia on its way through Vietnam and Laos. Latest news reports indicate 8 deaths when Ketsana hit Kompong Thom. Not much news from friends in the Baray district. I suppose no news is good news. I think the most damaged areas were in the north of the country. But villages further south might have ill effects associated with rising flood waters.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

'Fishing village' at Boeung Ria

Especially exciting this coming trip, is the prospect of re-visiting the 'fishing village' at Berng Ria. We visited this village twice back in 2001 to deliver some rice and provisions as well as to do some medical/dental work. We even managed to do some simple preaching there.

This village, loosely called a fishing village is rather interesting as they are a little mobile. They live in stilted huts, loosely held up with ropes. Their huts are regularly dismantled and relocated as the water levels shift through the various seasons. We are visiting them this time to see how we can help them build a school for their 70+ children. Should be quite a challenge given the semi-permanence of their dwellings.

Stepping off from the canal at Baray

During the rainy season, dry swathes of land are converted to a 'baray'

Fishing village, or sometimes called a 'floating' village (and yes, that Ps Boon Leong in the background)

Yep, that's me .... a more youthful me!

Schools commissioning

We are all getting a little excited as we get closer to the dates for the coming trip to Cambodia. The schools in Phum Leav and Phum Ley should be about complete, and we will be there to commission them.

There are currently 6 on the pax list:

Yoon Ping + me, Jhon, Kok Yong, Jimmy and Cheow Tuan. We are especially excited to know that Chern Chern might be going up with us to do some dental work. The schedule might be a bit tight though for much dental work to be done on this trip.

Our schedule:
  • Arrive Phnom Penh/Baray 28 October morning by Jetstar Asia
  • School openings (Phum Leav and Phum Ley) and visits (floating village/ Touk Pii) on afternoon of 28/10 and whole day 29/10. Possibly morning of 30/10 as well. Planning for some dental work through ChernChern and team. Details to be worked out.
  • Return to PP on 30/10 afternoon
  • Return Singapore 31/10 morning
We don't have much in terms of checked luggage entitlement as some of us are flying 'cheapskate class' on Jetstar Asia (really good deal!!), but we'll try and bring some old clothes up. We are especially looking for old babies clothes this time.

Typhoon Ketsana about to hit Cambodia

Typhoon Ketsana, which has wreaked so much havoc in Asia is about to hit Cambodia. The attached is reproduced from and PhnomPenh Post.

Kpg Thom will be among the first parts hit. Please pray for safety of the people there.

Cambodia gouvement alerts about storm Ketsana
Cambodian government issued an alerted letter about storm Ketsana that will hit Cambodia from 29-30 September 2009.
It was reported around 100 deaths in Philippines, this morning the storm have been reported moving to Vietnam and estimated arrive in Cambodia at 01:00 of 29 September 2009.
Those provinces of Cambodian northeast: Mondulkiri, Rattanakiri, Kratie, Steung Treng, Kampong Cham and Kampong Thom will hit first on the 29 September 2009 and it will continue to effect to all provinces around Tonle Sap on 30 September 2009: Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambong, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Preah Vihear, Udor Meanchey and Kampong Thom.
You can find the official letter issue by Cambodian government on , please inform all your relative in those provinces.
I hope it will pass and everybody will be safe. Take care everybody.

Kingdom braces for torrential downpour
Monday, 28 September 2009 15:03
Khouth Sophakchakrya

SEVERAL provinces have been warned of flash floods ahead of Tropical Storm Ketsana’s collision with Cambodia.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology released a statement on Sunday to alert people living in upland and coastal provinces that heavy rainfall is expected from Sunday through Thursday.
Department of Meteorology Director Seth Vannareth said Sunday that floods are to be expected in Kampong Cham, Kratie and Stung Treng provinces as well as along the coast in Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk provinces.
Mao Hak, director of the Department of Hydrology and River Works, said Ketsana had already increased water levels in the basin of the Mekong River while in Vietnam, and that the current is flowing downstream towards Cambodia.
“It will flood the homes of Cambodian people [along the Mekong River] for three days or more,” he said.
Ketsana was formed in the Philippine Sea, killing 73 and putting parts of Manila under 6 metres of water.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Population Census 2008

For those who are interested, here are some early data emerging from the 2008 population census for Cambodia:

Resistant malaria a concern, WHO says...

Reproduced from The Phnom Penh Post (25/9/2009):

A DRUG-RESISTANT strain of malaria observed on the Cambodian-Thai border threatens to overturn decades of progress in the worldwide fight against the disease, doctors from the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned at a regional conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

“Artemisinin-based combination therapy, the most effective antimalaria treatment to date, and among the last resources in our arsenal of drugs against the disease, is seriously threatened by evidence of resistance to the treatment in the Cambodian-Thai border,” said Shin Young-soo, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific. “Artemisinin-resistance needs urgent containment to prevent further spread of drug resistance.”

Artemisinin is only the latest antimalarial drug to be compromised by resistance developed on the Cambodian-Thai border. A 2007 WHO report on the phenomenon describes how, beginning in the 1970s, Cambodia reported malaria strains resistant to the drugs chloroquine, sulfadoxine-pyramethamine and mefloquine. Infections treated with artemisinin have already begun taking longer and longer to clear, requiring increasingly elaborate multi-drug treatment courses. According to government figures, the number of malaria cases and deaths has risen in 2009. The National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control reported that in the first six months of 2009, 27,105 people caught the disease and 103 died. In comparison, 25,033 were infected during the same period last year, causing just 65 fatalities.

WHO officials at the conference said the spread of malarial drug-resistance in Cambodia is being fuelled by an abundance of cheap counterfeit drugs containing little or no active medicine. Rather than clearing out the infection completely, inadequate treatments kill only the weakest parasites, leaving behind the strongest and most resistant.Sharon Wilkinson, country director for Care International in Cambodia, told the Post that the fake malaria drugs her group had found on the affected border area were not only prevalent but also disturbingly realistic.

“These [counterfeits] were beautifully packaged, bubble-wrapped and holographed. They turned out to contain only chalk,” she said, adding that the first counterfeit drugs were discovered seven years ago.“Aside from consuming the drugs, there is no way to detect this without a laboratory.”

Wilkinson added that the circulation of counterfeit drugs was made easier by “porous borders and very limited government control over pharmacies”.

“If you walk into a pharmacy here and look at who gives you the drugs, half of the time it isn’t the pharmacist. It could be the pharmacist’s child helping out. There should be tighter supervision.... Cambodia is in a state of pharmaceutical anarchy.”In addition to promoting the use of real drugs in effective combinations, the WHO said it was pursuing a further array of strategies to beat artemisinin-resistant malaria in Cambodia, including improving the rate of case detection and distributing long-lasting, treated bed nets.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cambodia 1965 Phnom Penh

Thanks Pak Soon, for highlighting this video in your Facebook. :)