Thailand Struggles With Drought

BenarNews Staff
2016.04.19
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Pattani’s Bandon canal is dry. Nasueroh/BenarNews

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A woman collects water from a tiny well in a parched canal bed in Ban Don, Pattani. Nasueroh/BenarNews

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Birds feast on insects as a farmer in Pattani’s Nogn Chick district plows a plot of land. Nasueroh/BenarNews

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A cow opts for hay after green grass became scarce in Pattani’s Koke Po District. Nasueroh/BenarNews

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A Koke Po resident walks in a parched trench where severe drought has damaged some crops. Nasueroh/BenarNews

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A man transports water for his cattle. Nasueroh/BenarNews

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Thai Muslims in Pattani’s Tung Yang Dang District perform Salatul Istisqa – a prayer for rain – on April 15. Nasueroh/BenarNews

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People create a sand bag barrier in Su-ngai Kolok River in Narathiwat to contain water. Rapee Mama/BenarNews

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A farmer in northeastern Chayaphum province stands next to his dwindling water supply. Nontarat Phaicharoen/BenarNews

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A pond in Khonkhaen’s Koke Sung district in northeastern Thailand has evaporated. Nontarat Phaicharoen/BenarNews

Thailand is facing one of its worst droughts in more than 20 years. Forty-two of the nation’s 77 provinces are affected, including more than 3 million acres of farmland, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation.

Thailand has been affected by the El Niño warm weather phenomenon. Temperatures reached a record 42 Celsius in Lampang and Kanchana Buri provinces on April 19.

Officials hope the effect will subside when La Niña brings cooler temperatures and rain, expected in July.

Prutipong Tasanchaleekul, an irrigation official in the suburban Bangkok district of Rangsit, said that in Thailand’s central region, reservoirs at four major dams – Bhumibol, Sirikit, Pasak Cholasit and Kwai Noi – can supply water for irrigation, drinking and utility purposes only until the end of July, unless it rains.

In Pattani, Thai Muslims in Tung Yang Dang district resorted to begging Allah for rain. More than 100 people gathered on April 15 to pray for rain.

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