Abandoning your home to live next to a highway is not an easy life, but Lop Buri flood victims are learning to cope.
Bang-orn Sirichote and her son sleep inside a mosquito net at a makeshift shelter on Lop Buri Road in Lop Buri’s Tha Wung district. Mrs Bang-orn’s family moved to the road after their house was flooded. THITI WANNAMONTHA
Grappling with life on the street
Families washed out of their homes come to terms with hardship
It was 7pm when a granny and her young grandson came to rest on a bamboo bench with mosquitoes swarming around them.
Lamduan Thongkam, 64, the grandmother and her 11-year-old grandson, Nong Beer, looked exhausted after spending a whole day on Wednesday taking care of the pigs and other belongings moved from their flooded house on Lop Buri-Sing Buri road in Muang district.
It should be a happy day for the Thongkam family as one of their pigs is going to deliver babies soon. But since the family and their livestock are now living in the hot and cramped street shelter, everything has become much harder.
Mrs Lamduan's family is among about 50 who abandoned their homes for temporary road shelters after floods ravaged their community on Sunday night.
The family live inside a tent set up on the road for 50 flood-hit villagers. The tent was located near shophouses whose owners are kind enough to let them use toilets or take a rest inside the building.
The tent is packed with clothes, electrical equipment and other belongings they managed to grab before the flood arrived.
"We lost most of our belongings since the water came very fast. But luckily, we were able to save our pigs," said Mrs Lamduan.
Mrs Lamduan's grandson, Nong Beer, said there was no sign of flooding on Sunday, but at 8pm water began to rise and submerged the first floor of his two-storey house within a few hours.
"I tried to help my grandmother to evacuate the pigs. But they are too heavy. I could only carry pig feed and some shoes," he said.
"I saw people clinging on to a tree. One man said he couldn't move because he had cramp," he said.
Nong Beer said he was afraid the flood disaster would be more severe next year.
"I think this year's flooding is just the beginning of the worst. Is it true that our world will become a water world?" he asked.
Nong Beer called his teacher after the flooding, saying he could not go to school as his uniform and text books had been washed away and he had to live on the street now.
The teacher told him to relax and that the school was closed because of the flooding.
Life on the road is not so hard for the boy, who enjoys playing in the flood water with friends and eating free food distributed to flood-hit villagers. On a good day, he eats grilled fish caught from a nearby canal.
"However, the food is scarce now. Maybe we might have phad krapao noo na [field rats fried with basil leaves] for dinner today," he said.
Asked what he wants the government to do for him and the other villagers, the boy said he needed clean water for a bath.
The Thongkam family have been living on the road for three nights and officials have told them that in the worst case, they might have to stay there for a month until the flood recedes.
makeshift – using whatever is available and therefore not very good สำหรับใช้ชั่วคราว, ใช้ประทังไปก่อน
shelter – a temporary place to stay ที่พักชั่วคราว
grapple with – to try hard to find a solution to a problem ต่อสู้ดิ้นรนกับ
come to terms with – to accept something unpleasant by learning to deal with it รับมือกับความลำบาก
hardship – difficulty ความลำบาก
bench – a long seat for two or more people, usually made of wood กระดานนั่ง, ม้านั่ง
swarming – full of something, like insects, people or animals มีจำนวนมากมาย
exhausted – extremely tired เหน็ดเหนื่อย
belongings – the things you own ข้าวของเครื่องใช้
livestock – animals such as cows, sheep, chickens and pigs that are kept on farms ปศุสัตว์
cramped – not having enough space คับแคบ
abandon – to leave a place, especially because it is difficult or dangerous to stay there ละทิ้ง
temporary – used or done for only a limited period of time, i.e., not permanent ชั่วคราว
ravage – to destroy something or damage it very badly ทำให้เสียหาย, ทำลาย, ล้างผลาญ
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
located – where something is ตั้งอยู่
packed – very full of something แน่น ซึ่งใส่ไว้จนเต็ม
grab – to take or hold somebody/something with your hand suddenly, firmly or roughly จับ,ฉวย
sign – an event, an action, a fact, etc. that shows that something exists, is happening or may happen in the future ร่องรอย, สัญญาณ
submerge – to cause to be under water ทำให้จมน้ำ ทำให้อยู่ใต้น้ำ
evacuate – to cause to leave a place because it is not safe เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก
cling – to hold on to something tightly ติดแน่น
cramp – a condition in which you experience a sudden pain when the muscles in a particular part of your body contract, usually caused by cold or too much exercise ตะคริว
disaster – something very bad that happens and causes a lot of damage ความหายนะ
severe – very serious and unpleasant รุนแรง
uniform – the special set of clothes worn by all members of an organisation or a group at work, or by children at school เครื่องแบบ
relax – to become calm and not anxious ผ่อนคลาย
distribute – to give something such as food, clothes or money to a group of people แจกจ่าย
grilled – cooked by direct heat, especially under a very hot surface ย่าง
scarce – not easy to find or get ขาดแคลน, ไม่เพียงพอ, หายาก
in the worst case – a description of the worst possible situation that could result in the future สถานการณ์ที่เลวร้ายที่สุด
recede – to move back; to move further away into the distance; subside ลดลง, ถอยหลัง
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