By Jutharat Thipnampha
The Science Ministry, in cooperation with the Dutch embassy, is working on a flood-prevention plan as a long-term resolution of the erosion and problems caused by rising sea levels faced by Bangkok and coastal provinces.
The Netherlands, in its capacity as a world expert in dam construction and flood management, has been asked by the government to help with the problem. A team of Dutch technicians and Thai officials will be conducting a joint survey of provinces along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand until Friday.
The teams held a seminar yesterday on flood management, during which Dutch experts told officials from various agencies about the prevention methods they could adopt. Science Minister Virachai Virameteekul, however, said that both short- and long-term solutions needed to be worked out to deal with the problem, but did not provide details about the time frames.
Meanwhile, the Dutch government has granted a multi-million euro budget to support the programme and relevant authorities are helping on the legislative side of things, the Netherlands’ Ambassador to Thailand Tjaco van den Hout said.
Netherlands began putting its flood-management measures in place decades ago, developing some of the world’s best flood-prevention technology along the way. More than half of the Netherlands, covering more than 60 per cent of the entire population of more than 16.6 million, is 4-7 metres below sea level, the ambassador said.
Flood-management expert Anon Sanitwong na Ayutthaya said the areas most at risk in Thailand were Bangkok, Chon Buri, Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon and Chachoengsao.
“Flood management in each province is handled locally and lacks integral operations, which would be further consolidated based on Dutch technology under this programme,” he added.