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Located in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is highly susceptible to the impacts of climate change. The country faces various challenges including water pollution, strong winds, floods and mangrove destruction, all of which pose significant threats to its coastal communities.
Unfortunately, Cambodia lacks the necessary capacity building and knowledge sharing to effectively address these challenges. This further increases the vulnerability of its communities, leaving them even more susceptible to the effects of climate change.
Addressing the challenges
UN-Habitat Cambodia recognized the urgent need to address these issues and sought assistance from Arcadis through the Shelter Program. Our team provided technical advice in developing UN-Habitat Cambodia’s proposal and looked for small-scale solutions to the problems faced by the cities of Kampot and Koh Kong in Cambodia’s coastal provinces. The goal is to assess the affected areas and find solutions that increase the climate resilience of the vulnerable communities.
The project also includes adapting resilient structures to withstand extreme hydro-meteorological events, restoring coastal ecosystems while minimizing socioeconomic impacts on the communities, and enhancing the institutional capacity of the communities to manage the implemented adaptation measures.
Considering the current situation and environmental challenges, the Shelter team, consisting of colleagues from the Philippines, France and the United Kingdom, explored potential solutions. They identified the benefits of nature-based solutions, using existing wetland and riverside ecosystems to treat wastewater from the target communities. Additionally, they provided conceptual designs for resilient housing that can expand and adapt to growing families. These proposed target communities will also serve as models for effective wastewater management.
Consultations with the locals revealed their desire for self-improvement and a resilient environment. The proposed interventions aim to support the communities by providing cleaner water, resilient shelters, and a sustainable environment. By meeting their basic needs, such as access to clean water and a safe place to live, the communities will achieve personal security, good health, property ownership, a sense of community and the freedom to pursue a better future, thereby supporting the dreams of every child.