Srettha reckons water in North enough for dry season


Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin aired concerns about the drought and harmful air pollution affecting the North of Thailand while he was on an official tour in Chiang Mai on Saturday.

He said the water management situation in the North was “worrying”, but believes the water supply is sufficient for consumption in the coming dry season.

“The water supply [in the North] is lower than last year, but the situation is still better than in the Northeast. We still have hope as the rainy season has more than a month left,” the PM said.

“We need to manage the water supply well, but there is no shortage for consumption.”

Srettha added that his government will encourage farmers to grow plants that need little water, and would help find them buyers of the produce.

As for the issue of fine PM2.5 dust in the air, which often hits the North during the dry season, Srettha said his government hopes to tackle the problem by negotiating with neighbouring countries about the burning of farm waste.

Srettha reckons water in North enough for dry season Srettha reckons water in North enough for dry season

Smoke from the burning of agricultural waste engulfs many countries in Southeast Asia with a hazardous smog during the dry season. Studies found that the burning of agricultural residue left from the cultivation of rice, sugarcane, and maize contributes significantly to the increase of PM 2.5 dust in both rural and urban areas.

PM2.5 stands for dust particles that are less than 2.5 microns in width and can prove to be very dangerous for people with lung and heart disease.

The prime minister was in Chiang Mai on Saturday as part of his three-day working visit to the North that also included Chiang Rai. He is scheduled to return to Bangkok on Sunday.

Also on Saturday’s agenda was his meeting at Chiang Mai University with local business operators to discuss their problems and how to encourage young entrepreneurs to start new businesses. The discussions are expected to cover the economy, tourism, transportation, and social and environmental issues.

On Sunday, Srettha is scheduled to meet with executives of Chiang Mai International Airport to discuss adding more flights after midnight to cope with the increasing tourist arrivals. He will also meet local residents who will be affected by late-night flights to and from Chiang Mai airport.