Poll: Fear of flooding returns
BANGKOK, 19 June 2012: Assumption University of Thailand reported that over 70% of Thais interviewed believe the country will face massive flooding again this year.
Released Monday, the ABAC study polled 2,074 Thai residents in 17 previously flooded provinces, 1 to 16 June. The poll showed that 70.7% of respondents believed floods would return this year. The survey also indicated 53.3% were worried about flooding while 46.7% said they were not concerned.
Interviews were carried out in Bangkok; Ayutthaya; Sing Buri; Lopburi; Chainat; Pathum Thani; Saraburi; Nonthaburi; Nakhon Phanom; Nakhon Ratchasima; Kalasin; Nakhon Sawan; Phitsanulok; Chiang Mai; Krabi; Surat Thani; and Songkhla.
In addition, 56.1% of interviewed residents said the government water management plan was not clear, while 43.9% said they understood what the government was doing.
Meanwhile, 56.0% said they lacked confidence in the government to handle the flood this year, while 44.0% believed the government could cope with the situation.
ABAC Poll director, Noppadon Kannika, said people understand that the flood is a natural disaster, but they still look to the government to find a remedy and reduce the risks to life and property.
“The government must be cautious to ensure it does not repeat the same mistakes or disappoint those who suffered last year. It has to learn lessons and manage the problem.”
Earlier, Science and Technology Minister and Strategic Committee for Water Resources Management chairman, Plodprasop Suraswadi, vowed Bangkok and its key economic zones, particularly industrial estates, would not be flooded this year.
However, he failed to mention the fate of millions of residents who live in Bangkok suburbs and neighbouring provinces. Their homes were submerged in flood water for two months or more.
“Even if the amount of northern runoff is as much as that of last year, there will be no floods in the capital and nearby provinces because the government is now well prepared to prevent a recurrence of the great flood 2011.”
Over 2.1 million rai of land has been designated as “monkey cheeks” or water retention areas. Altogether, they will have the capacity to contain around 5.1 billion cubic metres of water during the rainy season.