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Thailand struggles with environmental issues

Thailand struggles with environmental issues as PM 2.5 hit new records levels in Bangkok and severe drought is expected in several provinces

Bahar Karaman

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 The Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior have issued statements assuring members of the public that the administration is doing its best to address the issue of air pollution.

Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed his concerns over the well-being of the people and instructed local provincial administrations to mitigate the problem, telling them to look after the health of their respective local residents.

Meanwhile, the Minister of the Interior advised people in affected areas to avoid engaging in prolonged outdoor activities and wear face masks when venturing outside. The agency also recommended youths, senior citizens and people suffering from respiratory illnesses seek medical attention as soon as they start exhibiting irregular respiratory symptoms.

The highest PM 2.5 level in Bangkok was recorded at Soi Ladphrao 95 by Ladphrao road in Bueng Kum district of Bangkok with 71 micrograms per cubic meter of air due to heavy morning traffic. Still air in many areas of Bangkok during this period provides favorable conditions for dust accumulation. Members of the public in affected areas should limit their outdoor activities and closely monitor the situation.

In the northern region, air quality levels today were measured from very good to starting to have health effects. The PM 2.5 level in the region today ranged from 16 to 71 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The PM 2.5 levels were recorded beyond healthy levels in Ban Tom subdistrict in Phayao, Phra Bat subdistrict in Lampang, Sob Pad subdistrict in Lampang, Ban Dong subdistrict in Lampang, Mae Mo subdistrict in Lampang, Ban Klang subdistrict in Lampoon, and Na Chak subdistrict in Phrae.

Water crisis center

Many provinces of Thailand are now facing a drought disaster, which is expected to be more severe than last year.

In response, the government has set up a special command center chaired by the Prime Minister, to handle the crisis and assist affected village.

The center will serve as a temporary cooperative center according to the Water Resources Act BE 2561 until the situation improves. The center will oversee operations, situational forecasts, management, crisis warnings, and public relations.

The government now expects the drought disaster this year to be very severe, and has ordered related agencies to prepare accordingly. The Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) has been ordered to address the issue in the most efficient and timely manner, requiring cooperation from related agencies to address pressing issues and make long-term water management plans.

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