New village created after 2018 landslide
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New village created after 2018 landslide

Interior Ministry answers ethnic Lua residents' plea to recognise their settlement

A landslide in Bo Klue district of Nan in July 2018 caused severe damage.
A landslide in Bo Klue district of Nan in July 2018 caused severe damage.

The Interior Ministry has approved the creation of a new village in Bo Klue district of Nan province, to take in residents of another village that was badly damaged by a landslide in 2018.

Ethnic Lua residents who lived in Ban Huai Khab were not allowed to return to the village after the landslide, as it was located in a disaster-prone area and cannot be rebuilt, according to permanent secretary Suttipong Juljarern.

All 239 residents moved to a temporary settlement in Ban Sawa Nuea, about 3km away. After living there for a while, they asked local authorities to recognise their settlement — dubbed Ban Huai Khab Mai, meaning “new Ban Huai Khab” — as a separate village from Ban Sawa Nuea.

Their request, which would effectively split Ban Sawa Nuea into two smaller villages, was initially rejected by the Department of Provincial Administration, as the settlements would have been too close. Under a cabinet resolution in May 1996, the administrative centres of two villages must be at least 6km apart.

Mr Suttipong said that Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda wanted to help the residents retain the old name of their community, so the ministry petitioned the cabinet on March 7 to waive the distance criteria for the village, which was approved.

The ministry also urged the Bo Klue district chief to adopt an initiative of HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya to promote Ban Huai Khab Mai as a sustainable village and promote their coffee plantations to boost tourism.

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