Flood Damage Data Collection System

The Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MPWT) has increasingly focused its attention on extreme climate events and their impacts on Cambodia’s road network. The climate change impacts will be widespread and costly in both human and economic terms, and will require significant changes in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation systems. Under the ADB-funded “Climate Resilience for Provincial Road Improvement Project” (CR-PRIP), MPWT aims to promote climate adaptation and environmentally friendly roads. The project will ensure the robustness, safety, pass-ability, and durability of roads by setting up design standards, safety measures, and emergency plans.

Conducting regular inventories of road damage is essential to emergency maintenance and identifies potential vulnerabilities in the road sectors. Of all the possible types of spending on the road network, preventive maintenance is the most beneficial. This is because a small amount of money on timely maintenance can preserve the huge initial expenditure that was made at the time of construction. Maintenance expenditure saves money in two ways. Firstly, it reduces the overall costs to the road agency (in this case the MPWT and the Ministry of Rural Development). Secondly, it reduces the costs to the road users. Maintenance is done to keep the vehicle operating cost lower. There will be fewer accidents and the road will reach its design life when properly maintained. It will also have a satisfactory rate of economic return.

Presently road maintenance in Cambodia is divided into three main categories:

  • Periodic maintenance: Fix the damage when it occurs
  • Routine maintenance: Anticipate the damage and plan ahead to fix it
  • Emergency maintenance: Large-scale repairs for significant damage

Historically, the Provincial Public Works Department (DPWT) of MPWT has undertaken road maintenance. The Road Maintenance Department of MPWT carries out the periodic and routine maintenance, and the Road Infrastructure Department under the MPWT is responsible for emergency maintenance and the rehabilitation program in collaboration with the provincial department. Other than DPWT, private enterprise and construction units from the police and armed forces also work together for road maintenance. The Road Maintenance Department was created under a World Bank project in 2005 but has not yet become fully functional or integrated with the proper staff. The regular data collection that is carried out by the department are roughness with visual assessment, deflection survey, and traffic volume.

The department uses the Road Management and Decision Support System (RMDS) to collect and analyze data. The data is then exported to the HDM-4 model. The department uses HDM-4 for annual and 3-year planning for road maintenance. The HDM-4 could also be utilized for emergency road maintenance activities. In contrast, the Road Infrastructure Department carries out traditional surveys using DPWT to collect flood or other damage data for emergency maintenance. Here the existing damage assessment form has been upgraded with detailed information for enhancing the maintenance system and proper accountability.

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