Rawai houses flooded, crops destroyed

RAWAI: Incessant rain has left homeowners parts of Rawai scrambling to sandbag their houses while farmers scurry to save what crops they can. Prakaikhum Jeepukhum, 43, who has a 1.5-rai vegetable farm near Mimmi’s restaurant, on Saiyuan Rd, said that she had lost nearly her entire crop and that her husband and local villagers scrambled to sandbag their property line. “We had to hurry to harvest whatever could still be sold,” she said. “I don’t know what to do now because the land is too wet to plant anything. Now we just have to wait for the dry weather so we can begin to plant again,” she said. “There are about five farms here and all of them have been flooded,” she added. Saiyuan Rd resident Prasit Pengpa, 23, who had relatives help him sandbag and bail water out of his house, counts himself lucky. “My house hasn’t been flooded that much, but those who live on the opposite side of the road where the ground is lower have been affected.” Rawai Kamnan Sin Pallop said, “The water at Moo Baan Thai Mai is more than a meter deep for a stretch of more than 300 meters.” In response to the flooding, the Rawai Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor) has been distributing sand and bags for villagers to stave off floods with, and has begun digging roadside trenches in Moo Baan Thai Mai and along Saiyuan Rd to relieve flooding. Oddly, Suchart Chucheep, Head of Public Works Section at Rawai OrBorTor, explained that providing flood relief has met some resistance. “We have to talk to villagers before we begin to digging, that’s why it takes time. Some of the land owners don’t want us to dig on their land.” Sang Chanalert, Village Headman of Rawai Moo 1, blames the housing boom in the area for the flooding. “About two years ago there were rubber plantations, so the water did not flow [down the hills] too fast. But now there are many buildings, and there has been some very heavy rain,” he explained. Rawai OrBorTor Chief Administrative Officer, Kittipong Maneesri, told the Gazette that permanent storm drains would be built to prevent future flooding. “However, we have to wait for all new members of the OrBorTor to be appointed before we can even consider the budget required for the construction,” he added.

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