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Phnom Penh (VNA) - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged authorities at all levels to employ measures to combat severe weather and drought in the country.

The country is facing water shortages during this year’s dry season as water levels in Mekong River are at their lowest levels in the last half decade, impacting farming and fisheries.

On April 26, the PM requested relevant authorities focus on distributing water and providing financial aid for water pumping to drought- hit areas. He also called on political parties, and social organisations to join hands in tackling the problem.

Authorities in the hardest hit localities including Banteay Meanchay, Kampong Thom, Kratie, and Kampong Cham have carried out several measures to cope with the drought such as lake and canel dredging, well digging, and installation of mobile water pumping stations.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery has pledged to provide plant varieties which are resilient to severe weather, vaccines for domestic animals while giving information and guides on diseases which might arise from hot weather and drought.

According to the National Centre for Disaster Management, 18 out of the country’s 25 cities and provinces are facing severe water shortages.

Temperatures in the country are expected to hit 42 degrees Celsius within the next 15 days. The drought is forecast to last till July due to impacts of El Nino.

To date, more than 300 buffalos and cows in the northeastern province of Stung Treng have been killed by drought and prolonged hot weather.-VNA