A serious drought is starting to grip most parts of Thailand including Ubon Ratchathani. The rice growing season is still salvageable but a lot of rain needs to start falling and start falling now!
Here are a few snippets from some articles published in the last two days.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has expressed strong concern over the current drought crisis which has delayed the sowing of in-season rice.
– relief web
A drought in Southeast Asia is threatening rice production in Cambodia and Thailand, the world’s biggest rice exporter. The concern about production comes as rice prices have sunk to a two-year low, hurting farmers’ incomes.
– VOA news
Water levels at major dams in Thailand have declined sharply, especially in the northeastern region, due to an ongoing drought.
Farmers in villages across the Issan region are nervously watching the skies while at the same time looking at rivers and dams slowly drying up.
In September last year I blogged about the Huai Luang waterfall which is located inside the Phu Chong Na Yoi National Park which is in the Amphur of Na Cha Luai, right up against the Cambodian border, a 2 hour drive from Ubon Ratchatani but just a 30 minute drive from my village.
When my mate Clint and his family visited I took them there and they had a great time swimming in the falls. This is what it looked like then.
About three weeks ago my sister was visiting so I took her to view these majestic falls. I realised of course that the water flow would be a lot less due to the different time of season that we were visiting. I also remembered this photo that I took of a poster showing what it looks like month my month. January is the pic on the left and go month by month from there across to the right.
I must admit I was surprised when this is what we saw.
We spoke with one of the rangers there and he told us that in the 15 years that he has been working in Phu Chong Na Yoi National Park he had never ever seen the Huai Luang waterfall stop flowing.