Majority dissatisfied with govt's handling of water shortage: Poll

Majority dissatisfied with govt's handling of water shortage: Poll

Rice growers try to seek ground water from the dry irrigation canal in Kao Liao district of Nakhon Sawan province in December. (Photo by Chalit Pumruang)
Rice growers try to seek ground water from the dry irrigation canal in Kao Liao district of Nakhon Sawan province in December. (Photo by Chalit Pumruang)

A large majority of people are not satisfied with the government's handling of the water shortages which have hit many parts of the country, according to the result of an opinion survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll.

The poll was conducted on Jan 8-11 on 1,194 people throughout the country to compile their opinions on actions taken by the government to tackle the drought-caused water shortage that has seriously affected people and the agricultural sector. 

When asked for comments, 43.80% said the situation is critical and more serious than in past years; 26.51% said they are concerned there would not be sufficient water for consumption and agriculture; 22.19% said the government should urgently come up with relief measures; 16.14% said the drought has severely affected agriculture and the economy; and 10.37% wanted the government to keep people informed of the developments.

Nearly half of the respondents - 48.99% - said they were moderately affected and 32.17% heavily affected by the water shortage, while 18.84% were not affected at all.

Asked what the government should do in this situation, 52.43% said its actions should be more expedient and precise; 33.66% suggested that it should look for alternative water resources, drill more artesian wells and resort to rain-making operations; and 31.07% said a campaign should be launched to raise public awareness of the problem.

Asked whether they are satisfied with the government's handling of the situation, 83.35% said "no" and 16.92% said "yes".

Of those who said "no", 47.44% said they are fairly dissatisfied as farmers are still sufferring from the problem and no long-term solution to the problem is in the pipeline, while 35.64% said they are totally dissatisfied as the government did not prepare for the situation despite knowing it would happen.

Of those who said "yes", 14.62% said they are fairly satisfied as the government has tried to solve the problem with measures such as allocating funds for various projects, while 2.30% said they are totally satisfied because the prime minister has instructed all agencies concernd to pool their efforts to tackle the problem.


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