Farmers brace as river water diverted to farms to ease floods

Farmers brace as river water diverted to farms to ease floods

61-year-old Boonsong Kraiperm laboured frantically Monday to try to build a small dyke to keep the water out of his Ayutthaya rice field - not quite ready to harvest. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
61-year-old Boonsong Kraiperm laboured frantically Monday to try to build a small dyke to keep the water out of his Ayutthaya rice field - not quite ready to harvest. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Ayutthaya authorities have begun to divert flood water in riverside communities to water-retention areas to reduce the impact of the floods.

Bowdaeng Takaew, head of the Ayutthaya Irrigation Project, said Monday that authorities planned to divert 75 million cubic metres of water from the flooded riverside communities to the more than 30,000 rai of mostly paddy rice fields in Ayutthaya and Ang Thong.

Most farmers have already finished harvesting the rice in their fields which are now being used as water retention areas, or kaem ling, he added. However, some farmers whose paddy has not been harvested are building dykes to prevent water from entering their farms.

The water-retention areas cover four districts in two provinces: Sena, Phak Hai and Bang Ban districts in Ayutthaya, and Pa Mok district in Ang Thong, according to Mr Bowdaeng.

The local irrigation office opened a sluice gate in Sena district and another two gates in Pak Hai district to allow water from the Noi River to flow to the water-retention areas, he said.

Another gate in Bang Ban district was also lifted to receive water from Khlong Bang Luang which is connected to the Chao Phraya River.

It was reported water levels reached about 1.5 metres high in the fields after the water had been diverted.

Also on Monday,Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the government has tried its best to prevent run-off from the North from flowing into Bangkok.

Gen Prawit urged affected farmers whose farmland is being used for retaining flood water to understand the need to divert water into their paddy fields.

Prime Ministererve as water-retention areas to mitigate the impact of the floods.

Government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the farmers would receive financial compensation for damage caused by the floods.

This year, a large amount of northern run-off has flowed into the Chao Phraya barrage in Chai Nat province, Gen Prawit said.

It was reported the Pasak Chonlasit dam in Lop Buri and the Rama VI dam in Ayutthaya were running almost at their full capacities. Gen Prawit said the government had drawn money from the budget to solve the flood problem.

Meanwhile, local villagers in flood-ravaged Sapphaya district in Chai Nat have packed their belongings and moved them to higher ground along Khlong Maha Rat after their homes were inundated by flood water.


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