PHAYAO – The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) has held a public forum in Phayao province to collect opinions from the locals about the long-pending reservoir construction project, which is aimed to alleviate drought in the area.
Over 300 local residents attended the forum in Chiang Muan district of Phayao which was organized under the collaboration between the RID and the provincial administration. The attendants said the construction of Nam Pee Reservoir should begin as soon as possible as people would have to depend on its water supply to sustain their livelihood during the dry season.
In 1976, almost 40 years ago, the residents first lodged a request for the reservoir to be built on the Yom River. The feasibility on the construction was carried out following their request and finished in 2001. However, the project did not proceed any further until Thailand was hit by a major flood in 2011, which prompted the need to revive the project.
According to RID Director-General Lertviroj Kowattana, residents have expressed support for the construction project, reasoning that the new reservoir will certainly help them cope with drought and floods more efficiently. It is expected that the construction will be able to commence in early 2015.
Moreover, Mr Lertviroj said the RID is planning to expand irrigated areas to 60 million rai across the country from the current 29 million rai in a bid to tackle the drought crisis in a sustainable fashion.