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New water management chiefs get thumbs up

Nov 23. 2017
Somkiat Prajamwong
Somkiat Prajamwong
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By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM
THE NATION

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WATER EXPERTS have welcomed the appointment of Somkiat Prajamwong, director-general of the Royal Irrigation Department (RID), as the new director of the National Water Resources Management.

NCPO order No 52/2560 published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette on Wednesday announced the personnel changes.

The NCPO exercised its special powers under Article 44 of the interim charter to move Somkiat from the RID to head the newly founded National Water Resources Management Office. RID deputy director-general Thongplew Kongchan takes over as new RID director-general.

Hannarong Yaowalers, chairman of Thai Water Partnership, said yesterday that Somkiat was a good choice to head the new office judging from his experience and vision on water management. Hannarong said the position of National Water Resources Management Office director is a very influential one, as this agency will play an important role in planning water resources management of the country as a whole. It also has to plan beforehand to prevent drought and flood disasters.

“Somkiat is an experienced person, who has been working on water management at the RID for a long time. Moreover, he also showed his wide vision during his period as the RID director-general in dealing with floods and droughts, focusing not only on constructing more irrigation projects like many people in the RID did,” he said. “Therefore, I think he is very suitable to handle the important tasks in his new position.”

Hannarong, however, stressed that Somkiat will have to face many challenges, as he has to not only plan water management strategies for the country, but he will also have to hire personnel from the Water Resources Department for the new agency.

Sitang Pilailar, a lecturer at the Water Resources Engineering Department at Kasetsart University, also applauded the government order to assign both Somkiat and Thongplew to their new positions.

“This is a very important position to plan the water management strategies of the country and right now the most perfect person for this task is Somkiat. This position change is also a promotion in his career, as his new position has a higher rank than his previous position,” Sitang said.

“Meanwhile, Thongplew, also an experienced person on water management at RID, is the finest person to be new RID director-general.” 

The National Water Resources Management Office is a newly created water management agency, directly under the command of the prime minister. The agency was founded by NCPO Order No 46/2560 on October 26 and its main task is to oversee an integrated water management plan.

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