Changes brought about by the reservoirs – Rapidly changing landscape

[Original by Mariko OMURA, Cambodia Project (February 11, 2021); Translated by J. Tsuchiya/A. Taguchi]

I have reported about the changes brought about by the reservoirs in my previous article. Recently, there are further changes in the vegetable gardens around the reservoirs.

Look at this huge change! (1)

I visited the house of Sim Meas for the first time in a few months. As soon as she saw me, she took me to her vegetable garden. “Look at this! There was nothing here before, but it has changed into like this,” she said enthusiastically and talked a lot about her vegetable garden. Indeed, there was a great change (see photos arranged in chronological order).

Just after the excavation (April 2020).

Behind her are the reservoir and lots of planted green herbs everywhere (October 2020)!

Starting to make a vegetable garden in the backyard of the house (May 2020).

It is hard to believe this is the same place as above. Good job! She attended almost every agricultural training session provided by JVC (December 2020).

The sales of her vegetables and herbs amounted to about $100 in December. Wow!

She updated me about her achievement in an excited manner. I felt so happy to have worked with her. She passionately attends training sessions on dry herbs. She is 77 years old and still very active. I am encouraged by her every day.

She gave me palm sugar. She reminds me of my grandma in Japan.

Look at this huge change! (2)

Next is the vegetable garden of Sam Khorn. I visited her after a long time. You can find a big change here as well.

We prepared the soil for planting together (June 2020).

The vacant land turned into a place like this (October 2020)!

“This is the way they taught me, as I recall…” She made excellent use of the techniques that she learned in the agricultural training.

Sam Khorn earned about $100 in December and $220 in January from her vegetable garden. It is a great development to get money more than enough for daily meals without working formally [the minimum wage in Cambodia is $190 in 2020]. Thanks to the extra income, she can prepare, for example, for unexpected medical expenses. I am very happy to find that JVC’s agricultural training sessions and the reservoirs help stabilize lives in the farming communities. Sam Khorn’s genuine efforts in her vegetable garden have greatly changed her everyday life.

Becoming agricultural training lecturers

In addition to Sim Meas and Sam Khorn, there are other people who passionately work on their vegetable gardens by implementing what they have learned through JVC’s agricultural training. Recently, we asked them to become instructors of the vegetable garden and compost training. They can teach everything from what is good for the plants to how hard it is to take care of it because they practice vegetable gardening by themselves and can teach by using their own gardens. They can give very realistic information to the trainees.

Sam Khorn (center), who wears a yellow cloth around her head, shares agricultural knowledge with others. The site for this training is her own vegetable garden.

The vegetable garden of a trainee.

The number of trainees is steadily growing.

In my next blog, I will tell you about a person who tackled many challenges and made the greatest progress. Please look forward to the story of Ms. Bopper.

Information about the new coronavirus in Cambodia (as of February 2, 2021)

There was a spread of infection for a while last November, but now everything has gotten back to normal. There are almost no domestically infected persons. Only those who come back from Thailand by land and those inspected at airports are the confirmed cases. The current number of confirmed cases is 466 with no death in the population of 16 million. Cambodia continues to be one of the most stable countries in the world.

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