Villagers want to move, fear more flash flooding

Villagers want to move, fear more flash flooding

The Khong and Mae Na streams flow near Ban Mae Na in tambon Ta Toeng and are subject to flash floods. Village chief Prapan Thanapongchote says they want to move to a safer area they previously donated to a game reserve. (Photo by Cheewin Sattha)
The Khong and Mae Na streams flow near Ban Mae Na in tambon Ta Toeng and are subject to flash floods. Village chief Prapan Thanapongchote says they want to move to a safer area they previously donated to a game reserve. (Photo by Cheewin Sattha)

MAE HONG SON -- Residents of Mae Na in Pai district want to move and live elsewhere after their village has been hit twice by flash floods.

, 50, chief of Ban Mae Na in tambon Ta Toeng, said his village has a population of 173 and 40 households. It was hit by a flash flood for the first time in 2005 and the second in 2016, both on the same day - Aug 13.

The second flood, though not as severe as the first, damaged one house, the village sports field, a community shop, a homestay business and a fish conservation area.

The village is situated near Khong and Mae Na streams and is clearly at risk from flash flooding. The people now live in fear. They want to move to another location where they can live safely, he said.

Mr Prapan said the villagers previously sought permission to live in part of Nam Pai game reserve, about two kilometres from where they are now, but their request was rejected. Officials said they feared the villagers would encroach on the forest, even though that area was earlier handed over by the villagers themselves to be part of the game reserve.

The village chief insisted the people want only a tract of land to build homes on, and have no intention of encroaching on the forest at all.



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