Help on the way for locals in drought-hit North, Isan

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Help is on the way for families suffering from drought in the kingdom's Northeast and Upper Central region.

In January, the Provincial Waterworks Authority warned that drought this year will severely affect residents living in 15 northeastern and nine northern provinces.

Nakhon Ratchasima governor Wichian Chantaranotha inspected the drought situation in Lam Thamenchai district's tambon Chong Maeo yesterday and gave away relief bags to 198 victims from 47 families. The area, located on sandy soil, cannot retain rainwater.

Water trucks have been dispatched to fill village tanks and dispense water to residents.

Mr Wichian suggested that local administrations clear weeds and rubbish clogging small canals to increase the rainwater-retention capacity of areas affected by drought.

Assistance will be provided to other areas in the region as well.

On Wednesday, Gen Choochart Buakhao, deputy chief of defence forces, surveyed the clearing of the Yom River in Phitsanulok's Bang Rakam district to ease water flow.

In Phichit, the Yom River was found dried up in one village in Sam Ngam district despite the ongoing rainy season.

One source said only small pools were filled with rainwater, making supplies insufficient for mass consumption.

Drought has been occurring since early this year and the rainy season has not improved the situation. Riverside dwellers who rely on water for many economic activities have been affected.

The Pa Sak River basin committee has included the body of water in its resource development project.

Somkiat Prajamwong, secretary-general of Office of the National Water Resources told the press that the committee is planning to develop and expand the Phetchabun waterworks authority in Lom Sak district.

Doing so would increase the Pa Sak River's water level and clear weeds and debris in the Pa Sak Jolasid Dam. The committee also plans to build water-catchment areas and divert floodwater to the dam for manufacturing purposes.

The panel said it will deal with floodwater by improving water flow.

Bangkok Post
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