PM expresses concerns over potential drought in next 3 months


ANGKOK, Feb 16 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday said her government is worried about drought situation which could be intensified in the next three month.

The premier expressed her concern in her weekly televised address “Yingluck government meets the people,” saying that the government has reviewed its strategies in tackling drought to avoid repeated problems, as 29 provinces have been now declared disaster zones affected by drought.

She said the government wants the public to have sufficient water resources for consumption, while for agriculture, the government will have to consider the water management situation in each area, such as suggesting farmers plant crops which consume less water and introducing alternative occupations.

In the long-term, Ms Yingluck said a sustainable water management plan is needed under a single command operation under Bt350 million of budget, which will covers both flooding and drought.

Regarding haze problems in the North caused by forest fire and burning of cultivated lands after harvests to kill off old growths to prepare fields for the next plantings, Ms Yingluck said a special centre has been set up to closely monitor the smog situation during the so-called “80 dangerous days” after harvest season.

The prime minister said the overall situation has improved as local residents have cooperated with authorities. She said the government focuses on crop burning prevention and offers technical assistance to farmer to improve their soil quality and productivity.