So I am sure you would know already that there are horrible horrible floods in Thailand at the moment. Much of Thailand is underwater, Bangkok is affected, thousands of people are evacuated and in temporary/emergency accommodation, hundreds of people have died. People are losing their belongings and their livelihoods.

 The situation is bad.

Maybe you remember that when I was here in Thailand last time it was flooding (see With the Rain Comes Sadness and Refugee Camp Misery). Well what has happened is that all of that water (plus some) has slowly slowly moved its way down south and is now inundating Bangkok and surrounding areas.

Is it affecting me at all? No not really this time. In August it affected me because my work is in the North and that was the area flooding back then. But it is not affecting me now because I am not in Bangkok – the only problem will come if the airport floods and I won’t be able to fly out – so cross your fingers that this does not happen!!

But it is not raining – not really, I have only experienced one or two bursts of rain. This flooding is not from ‘new’ rain or constant downpour. It is from an inability or failing to deal with the floodwaters from the north.

Inability or failing?

Yes. I am not sure which and I think it depends on your point of view.

There is much discussion of it, in the news, on the streets etc. Some things sound a lot like rumours, some maybe more plausible, things like;

  • The floods are because the government did not prepare enough for all the water coming from the north
  • It was the previous government who failed to prepare (as the current govt was only inaugurated in August this year) because the previous govt were bitter about losing the election and want the new govt to look bad
  • That the govt should have been able to predict better the amount of water and its path
  • That dams were holding water when they should have been releasing it so that the flood water could have been captured

Etc etc

What does this all mean for Thailand? I don’t know

I don’t think that it will be good for national unity. When people talk about it. The conversation is something like this “wow the floods are terrible, so bad” “yes” “but if I was flooded I would just feel, so… ANGRY”

And yeah I totally understand.

I would feel angry too. People have died. People have lost all their belongings, they have lost their livelihoods.  Factories are underwater and will not be operational for months – the factory owners have been offered compensation – but what about the workers?

People here work hard for what they have and I don’t think that many would be insured. And considering how difficult it has been for people in Australia to get their insurance claims paid after the big floods there this year I can’t see the companies paying up here… Many people will be starting again. You see people with plastic boxes of things, maybe their photos and some household things – but you can’t take a motorbike in a plastic box – you can’t take your fridge Imagine how much people work for those things and how they will have to start again.

The government have been trying to do things to stop the floods getting firstly to Bangkok and then to central Bangkok. They have been ‘sacrificing’ other areas to try to save Bangkok. I tell you, I would be damn angry if I was from a place that was flooded to try to save Bangkok. I would have two questions for the govt;

– why was my life/ livelihood so much more expendable then those in Bangkok?

– what was the point anyway? Since the floodwater ended up hitting Bangkok.

People are worried for their pets – there have been pictures of people caring for their dogs which is really nice; http://www.globalpost.com/photo-galleries/planet-pic/5679556/bangkok-flooding-putting-pets-people

People with their doggies in little plastic buckets:

But what about the street dogs? So many of them without someone to care for them.

Organisations like Care for Dogs are trying, you can help them via their website: http://www.carefordogs.org/flood-rescue-teams-need-help/

Also it seems that Burmese migrant workers are going to cop it. With nasty people using these desperate times to exploit their vulnerability. http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=22329

I don’t know what will be happening in the next little while for Thailand. But something tells me political unrest may be here to stay for a while. And things might get worse before they get better.

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