Governors of Bangkok and six other provinces are working closely to ease the flooding situation, particularly to tackle jointly the problem of stagnant water. They met on 24 November 2011 to discuss water management in an integrated manner and under the same direction.
The meeting was called by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Yongyoot Wichaidit, with the participation of the governors of Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Chachoengsao, Nakhon Pathom, and Samut Sakhon. Also attending the meeting were the Justice Minister, Police General Pracha Promnog, in his capacity as Director of the Flood Relief Operations Center, and the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Preecha Rengsomboonsuk.
Mr. Yongyut said that authorities concerned were accelerating water drainage, so that the flooding situation would ease in early December, or before December 5, the birthday of His Majesty the King, and that affected people would be able to continue their life normally. The governors of Chachoengsao and Samut Prakan told the meeting that the two provinces, which were safe from this flood, were now able to accommodate a great volume of water. More water pumps should also be installed at various canals to drain water to these two provinces from Bangkok, Nonthaburi, and Pathum Thani, which were still suffering from stagnant water.
Meanwhile, Mr. Johannes Andries Boer, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Thailand, reaffirmed the Netherlands’ readiness to share expertise in water resource management with Thailand. The Ambassador discussed water resource management and the flood crisis in Thailand when he paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul recently.
He proposed to share the experience of the Netherlands’ integrated water management plan, which could be set up as part of Thailand’s national agenda. He suggested that a “Water Fair” be organized in Thailand to serve as a venue for sharing knowledge and experience among experts in order to find the best solution to the flood problem in Thailand. The Ambassador also invited the Thai Foreign Minister and relevant experts to visit the Netherlands to observe water resource management approaches that could be applied in Thailand.
According to a report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ambassador was of the view that the flooding situation in Bangkok was relatively similar to that in the Netherlands. As the capital cities of both countries are located in a delta, the Netherlands’ experience could be applied to Thailand. On this occasion, Foreign Minister Surapong expressed his appreciation to the Netherlands for dispatching experts to support the work of the Flood Relief Operations Center. He also supported the initiative of organizing an event to provide forums for experts to exchange their experience, in line with the outcomes of the 19th ASEAN summit in Bali. The summit had adopted the ASEAN leaders’ statement on Cooperation in Flood Prevention, Mitigation, Relief, Recovery, and Rehabilitation, which was initiated by Thailand, and this initiative was commended by many countries.