Mr. Seng Voeurn is a 72 year old man living with a disability in Svay Chrum village of Ek Phnom district. Mr. Voeurn lives with his 6 children and 3 grandchildren in a small house. Mr. Voeurn lost both of his legs due to a mine explosion during the civil war in 1983.
Mr. Voeurn’s family are farmers, working in the rice fields and crops but this brings in little money for the family, and sometimes none at all due to natural disaster’s such the floods or storms destroying the crops. Mr. Voeurn shared his concerns “I really worry when a flood or storm occurs in the village because I’m in the wheelchair, so I cannot leave the home and my cropping will be all destroyed”.
Mr. Voeurn joined the OPA in his village in 2018 and as part of the OPA, Mr. Voeurn was able to join a series of awareness raising training on Disaster Risk Reductions activities. Mr. Voeurn told us “I now understand what disaster risk reduction is and how to prevent it because of joining the training and awareness session with OPA on disaster risk reduction”.
Imagine there is a flood coming to the village, what should the community do? There are unique challenges for the most vulnerable such as older people, children and people living with a disability. Mr. Voeurn shared that he is now aware of real practice within the community in these situations upon joining the drill “I become more aware about how to prevent before, during and after the disaster coming, particularly for someone living in a wheelchair like me”.
The OPA has played an important role in informing the communities and that older people in the village whenever a predicted disaster is coming. The OPA has also set up a sub-committee to support and respond to any disaster that occurs in the village. “I now feel warmer and safer joining the OPA, knowing there is a sub-committee and they are taking care of older people whenever there is a problem or disaster”.