Every morning at ten o’clock, Sok Sopheap sets off to pick up her grandchildren from the local school in time for lunch. In Tropang Thom village, Sopheap is a familiar face. But she’s also unusual. People of her age in other countries often spend their days in quiet comfort, but Sopheap is bustling about. In some ways, she has no choice.
Climate change is transforming Tropang Thom, and older women like Sopheap bear heavy burdens confronting the shift. Tropang Thom has been in the grip of an oscillating water crisis, like other villages in Takeo province. During some months, taps run dry, paddy fields wither and villagers walk up to 20 kilometres to collect water. At other times, a sudden onslaught of rain floods the village and washes crops away. Children fall sick from a lack of clean water and nutrition. Residents lament that the rice harvest calendar no longer matches the weather calendar. With declining crop yields, households are having to think outside the box for solutions.
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