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Store floodwater in rice fields: Pay the farmers

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Govt failed to tell villagers their fields will be used for floodwater storage. Worries about being paid for flooded rice fields. 

weirs

Photo above of a massive concrete weir along the Songkhram River at Ban Nong Ga. The government's water retention policy includes the building of such weirs to retain water in rice fields to prevent a repeat of last year's economically disastrous flooding further downriver in Bangkok and Ayutthaya.

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Rice farmers unhappy with weir projects

15/02/2012
Post Reporters

Farmers in flood-prone Bang Rakam district of Phitsanulok have demanded fairer compensation if their land is to be used to retain floodwater.

Anchalee Porsongkhram, a Bang Rakam villager, said she would cooperate with the water retention policy only if the government pays out a reasonable amount of compensation.

The government is gearing up to dredge three lakes and canals in the district to increase their capacity to retain overflow from the Yom River.

Mrs Anchalee said her village was under floodwater for three months last year and that it was the worst flooding she'd seen since 1995.

She complained that the government had not informed villagers in advance of its plan to turn vast rice fields in Bang Rakam district into weirs.

Lamjuan Khamthabthim, a 67-year-old local, said the government had to tell villagers what they can do for a living if their lands are flooded.

As a compensatory measure, the government should also pay off personal debts accumulated when sowing rice fields that will be ravaged by the water retention project.

She said her family depends solely on rice cultivation and grows two crops a year on its 16-rai land plot.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is on an upcountry tour to inspect flood prevention projects. She was in the North yesterday to follow up on progress of water retention projects in Bang Rakam.

Authorities expect to finish dredging local canals in July but dredging three swamps in Bung Takreng, Bung Khiraeng and Bung Raman will take a year.

The flood prevention plan will be implemented in 10 upstream northern provinces; Chiang Mai, Uttaradit, Chiang Rai, Sukhothai, Tak, Nan, Phrae, Lampang, Lamphun and Phayao.

Four main rivers flow from the North and merge to create the Chao Phraya River feeding rice-belt provinces in the Central Plains.

Apart from the dredging, reforestation and small dam projects are to be completed in the next three months.

Supoj Tovichakchaikul, secretary to the Strategic Formulation Committee on Water Resources Management, said both immediate and long-term flood prevention projects in the North would cost the state 49.2 billion baht.

It includes the establishment of a water information centre that will issue flood warnings.

Wichian Chavalit, secretary-general of the strategic committee, said water retention areas were also necessary in midstream provinces like Uthai Thani, Phichit, Kamphaeng Phet, Chai Nat and Nakhon Sawan.

He noted some areas had to accept water and that dykes could not be built to protect all areas. Without the weirs, the level of the Chao Phraya River would be too high and overflow its banks.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Rice farmers unhappy with weir projects, 15/02/2012, Post Reporters, link

Flood Prevention Vocabulary

weir - a place in a river where a wall has been built to control the flow of water along the river (See Wikipedia)
massive - very big
massive concrete weir - a very large weir made of concrete

Rice farmers unhappy with weir projects

retain
- to keep; not lose รักษา
retain floodwater - keep floodwater at some place

policy - a plan of action to guide decisions and achieve outcomes (See Wikipedia) นโยบาย
water retention policy - government policy for where water that could cause flooding will be kept (for example, on some farmer's land who will have to be paid for the crops he loses)

prone - likely to be affected by something bad
flood-prone - likely to be flooded
flood-prone Bang Rakam district of Phitsanulok

compensation - money paid to a person for damage or loss they suffered เงินชดเชย การจ่า่ยเงินชดเชย
fair -
treated equally with other people; what is right for the situation
fair compensation
- the right amount of compensation (to make people equal)
demanded fairer compensation - asked to be paid more (an amount that would pay for the damage they received)
farmers demanded fairer compensation

reasonable - having good reasons; right for the situation
a reasonable amount -
the amount that is right for the situation
a reasonable amount of compensation - the amount of compensation that is right for the situation
pay out a reasonable amount of compensation.

Farmers in flood-prone Bang Rakam district of Phitsanulok have demanded fairer compensation if their land is to be used to retain floodwater.

cooperate - work together to reach a common goal ร่วมมือกัน การร่วมมือกันระหว่าง

Anchalee Porsongkhram, a Bang Rakam villager, said she would cooperate with the water retention policy only if the government pays out a reasonable amount of compensation.

gearing up to - preparing to do something
dredge - to remove unwanted things from the bottom of a river, lake, etc. using a sucking or other device ขุดลอก
gearing up to dredge three lakes

capacity - the total amount that can be contained ปริมาณสูงสุดที่จะรับได้
capacity to retain overflow
increase their capacity to retain overflow from the Yom River

The government is gearing up to dredge three lakes and canals in the district to increase their capacity to retain overflow from the Yom River.

worst - most + bad
the worst flooding she'd seen  
the worst flooding she'd seen since 1995  

Mrs Anchalee said her village was under floodwater for three months last year and that it was the worst flooding she'd seen since 1995.

inform - tell people something
inform in advance - tell people about something before it happens (so they can prepare)
inform villagers in advance

vast - very large, of great size; extremely large in area, size, amount, etc. กว้างใหญ่, มหาศาล มหึมา  ส่วนใหญ่
vast rice fields - very large and wide rice fields

She complained that the government had not informed villagers in advance of its plan to turn vast rice fields in Bang Rakam district into weirs.

local - 1. a person who lives in the area; 2. in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
a 67-year-old local - a person who lives in the local area whose age in 67 years old
what they do for a living - their job, the way they make money to survive
what they can do for a living - the job or work that they could do (if they were given a job, given a chance)

Lamjuan Khamthabthim, a 67-year-old local, said the government had to tell villagers what they can do for a living if their lands are flooded.

measure - an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
compensatory measure - an action taken to help people who suffered harm or damage
personal debts - money people borrowed by themselves (not a company borrowing)
accumulated - added to over time, so that it grows larger and larger
sowing rice fields - planting rice (spreading seed over the rice fields) 
pay off personal debts accumulated when sowing rice fields

ravaged -
destroyed (or at least made unuseable)
rice fields that will be ravaged by the water retention project.

As a compensatory measure, the government should also pay off personal debts accumulated when sowing rice fields that will be ravaged by the water retention project.

cultivation - growing plants
rice cultivation - growing rice
her family depends solely on rice cultivation

land plot - a piece of land used for a particular purpose
16-rai land
plot

She said her family depends solely on rice cultivation and grows two crops a year on its 16-rai land plot.

upcountry - provinces north of the capital Bangkok
upcountry tour - traveling around the upcountry area

inspect - to look at something carefully ตรวจสอบ
inspect flood prevention projects

on an upcountry tour to inspect flood prevention projects

progress - completing tasks that move you towards achieving a goal; the process of gradually improving and developing over time; advance, go forward ก้าวหน้า how a series of events is developing พัฒนาการ
follow up on progress of water retention projects

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is on an upcountry tour to inspect flood prevention projects. She was in the North yesterday to follow up on progress of water retention projects in Bang Rakam.

swamp - a wetland with some flooding of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water (See Wikipedia)

Authorities expect to finish dredging local canals in July but dredging three swamps in Bung Takreng, Bung Khiraeng and Bung Raman will take a year.

implemented - when a plan is put into action, actually doing the things in a plan
upstream -  towards the beginning of a river in the mountains
upstream northern provinces

The flood prevention plan will be implemented in 10 upstream northern provinces; Chiang Mai, Uttaradit, Chiang Rai, Sukhothai, Tak, Nan, Phrae, Lampang, Lamphun and Phayao.

merge -  to join together to become one การรวมกัน
rice-belt - an area of a country where a lot of rice is grown
rice-belt provinces - provinces where farmers grow rice
rice-belt
provinces in the Central Plains


Four main rivers flow from the North and merge to create the Chao Phraya River feeding rice-belt provinces in the Central Plains.

reforestation - planting trees to make a new forest (where trees have been cut down in the past)

Apart from the dredging, reforestation and small dam projects are to be completed in the next three months.

establishment - the creation of something
issue - to announce something officially ออกประกาศ
issue flood warnings - announce warnings for floods that nay happen soon

It includes the establishment of a water information centre that will issue flood warnings.

strategic - done with a special plan to achieve long term goals
midstream - in the middle of a river or a stream (small river)
midstream provinces - provinces that are located in the middle area of a river (not at its origins in the mountains or at its end where it flows into the sea) 

Wichian Chavalit, secretary-general of the strategic committee, said water retention areas were also necessary in midstream provinces like Uthai Thani, Phichit, Kamphaeng Phet, Chai Nat and Nakhon Sawan.

dykes - walls that prevent water moving into a place (stop floodwaters or stop the sea as in the Netherlands)
banks -
banks of a river, the two sides of a river, the land next to a river 
river overflows its banks - when the water of a river goes over the sides (and floods the land next to the river)

He noted some areas had to accept water and that dykes could not be built to protect all areas. Without the weirs, the level of the Chao Phraya River would be too high and overflow its banks.

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