PM chairs meeting to tackle floods, stresses integrated approach to solve problem systematically


BANGKOK, Sept 3 — Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday chaired a meeting of concerned agencies to tackle floods, stressing teamwork and an integrated approach like ‘one stop service’ to solve problems systematically with a long-term plan for future floods.

The meeting was held at 9.30 am at the Government House attended by representatives from the Royal Irrigation Department, Water Resources Department, Budget Bureau, Public Works and Town & Country Planning Department, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters and other agencies.

During the meeting, Ms Yingluck was briefed about organizational frameworks, budgets and time frame for solving flood problems in the short term, while also planning for longer term preventative measures for the future.

Ms Yingluck told the meeting that she wanted all agencies to work together with an integrated approach to help flood victims and for an operational centre to be set up for ‘one stop service’ to assist people affected by the flood.

She also urged speeding-up of financial assistance for flood victims.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry reported that there were 44 provinces affected by the flood, impacting 1.2 million households. A provisional budget of Bt6.7 million would be prepared to help ease immediate problems and the ministry would ask the cabinet to consider increasing the assistance fund from Bt5,000 Baht to Bt5,500 per family.

Ms Yingluck said she wanted to see a quick drainage of flood waters, particularly in agriculture areas.

On Sunday afternoon, the premier was scheduled to chair a meeting with the nine governors of the hardest hit provinces – Sukhothai, Phichit, Ang Thong, Chai Nat, Nakhon Sawan, Ubon Ratchathani, Sing Buri, Phitsanulok and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya – to receive updates from each province on plans to prevent flooding and schedules to distribute assistance funds.