Flooded Wat Suan Kaew coming back to life

Flooded Wat Suan Kaew coming back to life

Although only one-fifth of Wat Suan Kaew's 160-rai area has dried out, temple helpers have already begun restoration work.

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A temple helper removes garbage in Wat Suan Kaew in Nonthaburi province. Most of the temple is still flooded, but staff and devotees have begun to clean up those areas of the compound that have started to dry out. CHANAT KATANYU

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Spirit returns to Wat Suan Kaew

Famed Nonthaburi temple cleans up and tries to revive its badly damaged fruit orchard

Pakawat Sunpituksaree

Although only one-fifth of Wat Suan Kaew's 160-rai area has dried out, temple helpers have already begun restoration work, especially on its heavily damaged orchard, one of its main sources of income.

Phra Payom Kalayano, the abbot of Wat Suan Kaew in Nonthaburi province, said it was decided to launch flood recovery plans even though only 30 rai of its 160-rai are dry.

The well-known temple and its Suan Kaew Foundation has served as a spiritual and physical sanctuary for people as well as animals. It also provides agricultural demonstration programmes and vocational workshops to the underprivileged.

During the floods, it became a shelter for flood victims before succumbing to the deluge itself.

The temple's flood defence system failed on Oct 23 and all of its grounds were quickly inundated, causing several million baht in damage. Structurally, the damage to the main buildings was minimal and most of the occupants were relocated to the temple's other branches.

But its orchard, containing many varieties of profitable fruit and vegetables, was a total loss. Produce sales are one of the temple's main sources of income.

"The biggest problem we have right now is removing dead trees. Taking out the dead roots will be difficult and expensive," Phra Payom said.

Because of the large number of dead trees scattered around a relatively small area with limited manoeuverability made it difficult, if not impractical, to bring in heavy machinery. Removing them by hand will be time-consuming, but the temple has no choice, he said.

Phra Payom estimated the cost of the orchard restoration at about 5 million baht.

The abbot said about 99% of the temple's green area was lost to the floods. Among the highly profitable fruits that were wiped out are durian, which could generate up to 20,000 baht in revenue a day.

Durian trees are susceptible to flooding and all the mature fruit-bearing trees had died. Only some of the hardier fruit trees such as the rose apple survived.

Phra Payom said the temple would need to revive the fruit orchard as quickly as possible so it can restore its revenue stream.

Its plan is to plant fast-growing trees like banana first. Slow-growing trees would also be planted, but it would take more time for them to mature and bear fruit. Phra Payom said the durian plantation might take 10 years before it becomes profitable again.

The abbot said the temple was able to absorb the loss of income because of support it was receiving from its seven branches that were spared being flooded. He is confident the temple will recover from the disaster.

"The most important issue people in Thailand face is a lack of land to do any farming or business. We still have our land and as long as we have it we will persevere," he said.

He expects the temple to return to its original state in five years. As for future flood defence and preparation, he said little could be done to cope with flooding of the magnitude seen this year.

At present, floodwater has dropped almost a metre from its peak level of about 2m, allowing volunteers and devotees to begin cleaning the dry parts of the temple.

garbage – waste food, paper, etc. that you throw away ขยะ
staff – all the workers employed by a person or organisation considered as a group คณะผู้ทำงาน, คนงาน
devotee – a very religious person who belongs to a particular group; a person who admires and is very enthusiastic about somebody/something ผู้มีใจศรัทธา,ผู้อุทิศตัวกับ,ผู้หมกมุ่นใน
compound – an area enclosed by a fence or wall in which people work or live บริเวณ
spirit – courage, determination or energy  เจตนา, ความมุ่งมั่น
famed – famous ซึ่งมีชื่อเสียง
revive – to come or bring something back to existence or use ฟื้นฟู, ทำให้เกิดขึ้นอีก
orchard – an area of land where fruit trees are grown สวนหรือแปลงผลไม้
restoration – the work of repairing and cleaning something, etc. so that its condition is as good as it originally was การซ่อมแซม,การการบูรณะ,  การกลับสู่สภาพปกติ
source of income – a way of earning money ทางได้, วิธีที่จะได้มาซึ่งผลประโยชน์
abbot – the head monk at a temple เจ้าอาวาส
launch – to start something เริ่มต้น เริ่มทำ
recovery – the process of becoming normal and healthy again การฟื้นฟู
foundation – an organisation that provides money for things such as medical research or for a charity มูลนิธิ
spiritual – religious, or related to religious issues เกี่ยวกับศาสนา
physical – connected with a person's body rather than their mind ด้านร่างกาย,  เกี่ยวกับร่างกาย
sanctuary – a safe place, especially one where people who are having problems of some kind ที่หลบภัย
agricultural – involving the science or practice of farming เกษตรกรรม, การเกษตร
demonstration – showing something and explaining how something works การสาธิต
vocational – teaching the skills necessary for particular jobs  การสอนวิชาชีพ
underprivileged – not having as many advantages or opportunities as most other people ด้อยโอกาส
shelter – a place where people are protected from danger or bad weather; a temporary place to stay ที่หลบภัย  ที่พักชั่วคราว
victim – someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as a disaster, illness or an accident เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
succumb – to lose your ability to fight against someone or something, and to allow them to control or persuade you  พ่ายแพ้ ยอมจำนน
deluge – a sudden flow of a large amount of water; a sudden, very heavy rainfall น้ำปริมาณมาก ฝนตกหนัก
defence – protecting somebody/something from damage, attack, etc.  การป้องกัน, การต้าน
grounds – an area of land around a building or set of buildings บริเวณ, สถานที่
inundated – flooded ถูกน้ำท่วม, จมลงใต้น้ำ
minimal – very small in amount น้อยที่สุด, น้อยมาก
occupants – people who are in a particular place, vehicle, building, etc. at a particular time ผู้ครอบครอง
relocate – to move someone or something to another place โยกย้ายประชาชนออกจากบริเวณ
branch – an office, shop or, in this case, a temple representing a large company or organisation in a particular area สาขา
variety – a type of a thing, for example a plant or language, that is different from the others in the same general group ประเภท ชนิด หรือลักษณะ
profitable – able to earn money and expenses are subtracted ให้ผลกำไร,ได้ผลประโยชน์
produce – things that have been made or grown, especially things connected with farming  ผลผลิต, ผลิตผล
remove – to take something away เอาออกจาก
scattered – spread over a large area กระจัดกระจาย
relatively – somewhat; in comparison with someone or something similar  ค่อนข้าง
limited – not much or enough; not very great in amount or extent จำกัด
manoeuverability – the ability to move around
impractical – of something that cannot be done or used easily or effectively ซึ่งไม่มีประสิทธิภาพเมื่อนำมาใช้งานจริง,ที่ใช้งานไม่ได้
time-consuming – taking a lot of time to do or finish ที่สิ้นเปลืองเวลามาก, ที่กินเวลา
estimate – to say what you think an amount or value will be, either by guessing or by using available information to calculate it โดยประมาณ
wipe out – to get rid of something completely กำจัดให้หมดไป
generate – to produce ผลิต, ก่อให้เกิด
revenue – income from taxes or business activities รายได้
susceptible – easily influenced or affected by something อ่อนแอ,หวั่นไหวง่าย
mature – to become fully grown เติบโตเต็มที่
bear – to produce flowers or fruit ออกผล
hardy – strong and able to survive difficult conditions and bad weather พืชที่ทนต่อความหนาวเย็นของน้ำค้างในฤดูหนาวได้
survive – to stay alive after a difficult or dangerous situation มีชีวิตรอด
restore – to bring back to good condition ฟื้นฟูสภาพ
revenue stream – money coming into to a business, temple, government, etc.
plantation – a large farm where crops such as tea, coffee, cotton, sugar or, in this case, trees, are grown ไร่ นาขนาดใหญ่
absorb – to reduce the harmful effects of something รับเอา, รับไว้
spared – prevented from having to experience something unpleasant อยู่รอด
confident – being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ
disaster – something very bad that happens and causes a lot of damage  ความหายนะ
issue – a problem that needs to be considered ประเด็น
lack – to not have something needed  ขาด
perservere – to continue trying to do or achieve something despite difficulties  พยายาม
original – existing at the beginning of a particular period, process or activity เดิม
state – condition สภาพ
cope with – to deal successfully with a difficult situation or job จัดการกับปัญหา แก้ปัญหา
magnitude – size or strength  ขนาดหรือ ความรุนแรง
peak – the time when something is at its highest or greatest level ช่วงเวลาที่พบมากที่สุด
level – the amount of liquid that there is in a container, river, dam, etc., which can be seen by how high the liquid is ระดับ
volunteer – someone who is not paid for the work that they do อาสาสมัคร

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