BANGKOK, 17 April 2014 – The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has declared that 41 provinces need major assistance with the current drought disaster. The prime minister has assigned the DDPM to inspect affected agricultural areas and estimate their various predicaments in order to arrange zoning for water distribution as well as launching other measures to assist communities.
The DDPM states that all water resources will be distributed for consumption and that they are emphasizing that people utilize effective water management. Officers are going into affected areas and explain how to best deal with the water situation so that farmers could plan to cultivate plants that are suitable considering the low levels of water at present.
Mr. Chatchai Promlert, the DDPM Director-General, said that from last October until now, 41 provinces have been declared disaster zones. These include:
13 Northern provinces: Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phrae, Tak, Nan, Phayao, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Lam Phun
9 Northeastern provinces: Buri Ram, Khon Kaen, Srisaket, Chaiyaphum, Mahasarakham, Kalasin, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Surin, and Nakhon Ratchasima 5 Central provinces: Singburi, Chainat, Suphanburi, Kanchanaburi
7 Eastern provinces: Chachoengsao, Chantaburi, Prachinburi, Trat, Chonburi, Samut Prakarn, and Sakaeo. 7 Southern provinces: Trang, Satul, Krabi, Surat Thani, Nakorn Sri Thammarat, Chumporn, and Pattani.
Mr. Chatchai also said that reservoirs from all over the country currently hold more than 39 billion cubic meters of water, which is 56 percent full. There are 15.54 billion cubic meters of which 33 percent is usable water, more than the same period in 2013 when there were 37.34 billion cubic meters of water which represented 53 percent. The 4 water reservoirs along the Chaopraya River – Bhumibol Dam, Sirikit Dam Pasak Cholasit Dam, and Kwae noi Bamrungdan Dam – now contain 10.23 billion cubic meters of water which is at 35 percent of the overall capacity. There are 3.53 billion cubic meters of usable water, which is 22.25 percent of overall capacity.
In situations like this, residents should use water economically and sparingly. Farmers should plan to grow plants that need less water and refrain from farming double-crop fields at the moment.
Residents affected by the drought can contact DDPM hotline 1784 for 24 hrs. assistance