Preah Vihear Province is the third province that Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) has expanded into thus far. (DPA first expanded into Mondulkiri Province in 2003, after phasing out the ICD programme in Svay Rieng province; the second province expanded into was Stung Treng in 2006, following phasing out the ICD programme for Kandal Province.) The first phase of DPA’s integrated community development (ICD) programme in Preah Vihear aims to achieve a sustainable improvement in the quality of life of the indigenous ethnic minorities and vulnerable people in four communes of Chhaeb district, Preah Vihear Province. These goals will be achieved through building the capacity of development actors, supporting communities to manage and protect natural resources, and supporting communities to improve food security through increasing agricultural production and improving health and sanitation practices of communities in the nine target villages of four communes (Chhaeb1, Sangker1, Mlou Prey1 and Mlou Prey2) of Chhaeb district, Preah Vihear Province.
A survey done by DPA’s ICD team to assess the village situation examined village governance, agriculture, natural resource management, health and education issues and included participatory problem analysis with communities during village development planning workshops at village and district levels. The survey found that major problems faced currently include:
– Increase in illegal activities,
– Difficult access to fish for consumption due to some people using electric shock fishing and no aquaculture activity.
– The sale of agricultural products and Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) is worsened due to not having access to markets.
– Rice cultivation is often affected by insects, pests and drought.
– Low vegetable productivity as it is the traditional practice to grow vegetables only on small plots of land.
– Many livestock animals and poultry have died of disease due to lack of vaccinations, VVVs that are not well functioning, and the release of cattle into the forests
– Lack of water sources for irrigation
– Lack of draft animals
– Frequent droughts contribute to low agricultural production
– 60-70% of the population uses unclean water
– Malaria and water born diseases (diarrhoea, typhoid fever, and intestinal infection) are common due to lack of primary health care practices and preventative measures such as sleeping under mosquito nets, drinking boiled water, and using latrines.
– Lack of uncontaminated sources of drinking water.
– Some families have sold rice cultivation land for treatment.
– Only 14% of school-aged children have accessed to primary school and dropout rate is high due to poor living conditions and children quitting school in order to help their families.
– Domestic violence is still occurring at a rate of 8.92% of total families in commune