Drought in 27 provinces, unhealthy haze in 4

Drought in 27 provinces, unhealthy haze in 4

A farmer grazes his goats along a shallow irrigation canal in Sapphaya district of drought-stricken Chai Nat province. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
A farmer grazes his goats along a shallow irrigation canal in Sapphaya district of drought-stricken Chai Nat province. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Drought has ravaged about 4,000 villages in 27 provinces while four northern provinces are facing hazardous haze, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported on Thursday.

Department chief Chatchai Phromlert said 4,223 villages -- 5.6% of all villages nationwide -- were suffering water shortages.

Ten provinces -- Chai Nat, Chon Buri, Khon Kaen, Lamphun, Nan, Phichit, Saraburi, Surin, Tak and Trang -- lack water for consumption.

Nine provinces -- Buri Ram, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Phanom, Phayao, Sa Kaeo and Sukhothai -- lack water for farming.

Eight provinces needing water for both consumption and agriculture are Krabi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phetchaburi, Satun, Trat and Uttaradit.

Four important dams in the Chao Phraya River basin have a total 2.27 billion cubic metres of reserved water for use and 16 large reservoirs nationwide, mostly in the Northeast, hold water equivalent to less than 30% of their total capacity.

The department and the military were supplying water to victims and prioritising areas lacking water for consumption while concerned authorities were resorting to groundwater and rainmaking, Mr Chatchai said.

He identified the four northern provinces suffering smoky haze as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan and Phayao.


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