BANGKOK – Nong Chik district in the southern border province of Pattani is being developed as a district of peace. It is also preparing to celebrate its 208th anniversary, with many activities that reflect the cultural heritage of this old district.
Nong Chik District Chief Officer Ek Yangaphai told a press conference that the celebration will be held for three days, from May 24 to 26, 2016. There will be a spectacular boat procession, cultural shows from 12 subdistricts, a bazaar of local products under the “One Tambon, One Product (OTOP)”program, sports competitions, and a light and sound presentation featuring the history of Nong Chik.
In 1808, during the reign of King Rama I, Nong Chik was designated one of the seven towns in the city of Pattani. In 1901, the then Nong Chik ruler moved the Nong Chik administrative center from Khlong Mai subdistrict to the present site in Tuyong subdistrict.
Later, in 1906, Nong Chik was established as a district of Pattani province. It is suitable for agricultural production, especially rice farming, coconut planting, and coastal fisheries. The population in this district is about 75,000. Around 89 percent of local residents are Muslims and 11 percent are Buddhists. There are 80 mosques and six Buddhist temples.
The vision of Nong Chik is that the district will develop its education, community products, and agricultural output to be of higher quality, with community empowerment toward peaceful society. Major places of interest include Wat Muchalinthawapiwihan, Ratchadaphisek beach, and the residence of former rulers of Nong Chik.
Nong Chik district has been selected among pilot districts in the southern border provinces to carry out three major projects: Bringing People Back Home, Building Districts of Peace, and People-Public-Private Partnerships. One of the reasons is that Nong Chik is regarded as the gateway to other southern border provinces. Violent acts were erupted in this district in the past.
The Nong Chik District Chief Officer said that the task to develop Nong Chik as a district of peace requires efforts to create better understanding among the public. All relevant agencies and local organizations need to work in an integrated manner, under the concept of “People-Public-Private Partnerships.”With unified operations, he said, local residents would become more confident in the Government’s efforts to step up safety and security and improve their living conditions.
On May 9, 2016, Nong Chik residents joined a ceremony for the official launching of the “Smart Farm” project along Highway 43 in Nong Chik district. The ceremony was presided over by Secretary-General of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center Panu Uthairat. About 150 local people have participated in this pilot crop farming project, which is intended to develop local people’s quality of life. Under the Smart Farm project, local people will grow useful crops to earn a supplementary income.
Pattani Governor Suriya Amornrojworawut said that the project focuses on community participation to create unity among the people. It also aims to develop unattended land into an area for integrated farming. With concerted cooperation between local people and officials, Nong Chik is believed to become a more livable district, where people live peacefully and happily.