Severe drought hits Uthai Thani, farms and buffalos at risk

Image courtesy of Khaosod

Thailand’s Uthai Thani province is grappling with its most severe drought in decades, with temperatures soaring between 40 and 43 degrees Celsius and a prolonged absence of rain. The drought has reached a critical point, affecting several districts and causing a widespread scarcity of water for both consumption and agricultural use.

The situation has escalated to the point where it is now severely impacting livestock, particularly cattle and buffalo, which are struggling with the lack of grass for grazing and water sources drying up rapidly.

With the ground parched and cracked, grass cannot grow, and nearby natural water sources have become barren, leaving the animals without adequate sustenance and farmers in a dire predicament.

A buffalo farmer from Huai Khot district, Uthai Thani province, revealed that this is an unprecedented drought for him, having never encountered such harsh conditions in decades. With about 55 buffaloes under his care, there is no fresh grass available for feeding. He has been forced to scavenge for dried grass and rice straw from fields, along with leaves from the roadside, to temporarily feed his buffaloes.

The farmer reached out to the Uthai Thani Sugarcane Farmers Association (Thai Sugar) for emergency water trucks to supply his buffaloes with drinking water and to refill the drying ponds, allowing the animals to cool off and alleviate their distress.

Locals from Ban Rai district agree that this year’s drought is more severe than any they have experienced before, with water sources completely depleted, leaving nothing but dry mud in the streams. Efforts to drill for groundwater have also been unsuccessful, leaving the community unable to fend for itself.

Affected areas

In response to the crisis, Naphat Phokhaphon, the Commander of the Developmental Military Command Unit 15 in Huai Khot district, alongside Siraphop Niyomdecha, the District Chief of Ban Rai, and representatives from the Uthai Thani Sugarcane Farmers Association, Provincial Administrative Organization, and local Subdistrict Administrative Organizations, have mobilized over ten water trucks to distribute water across the affected areas of Ban Rai and Huai Khot districts.

Priority has been given to the severely hit Ban Bung subdistrict, with officials racing to supply water to community water towers and ponds to aid the buffaloes and alleviate the plight of the residents across the districts.

The drought in Uthai Thani is a glaring example of the increasing extremity of weather patterns and the urgent need for effective water management strategies to support the affected rural communities and their livestock during such critical periods.

Environment NewsThailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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