to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
2 Ban Don Chai , Moo 1, Tambon Sa Ieab, Amphoe Song, Prae
15 December 2003
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
Thru Minister Praphat Panyachatrak, Ministry of Natural
Re: A call for an abolishment of the Kaeng Sua ten
dam, the solution to solve flooding in Mae Yom River basin without building
Kaeng Sua ten dam, and the propose for the implementation of the World
Commission on Dams 7 strategic priorities in the consideration of mega
The recent flood has given the new Agriculture Minister
who has, after a few days of being appointed, an opportunity to revive
and push for the controversial Kaeng Suaten dam to go ahead regardless
of several studies that suggest against the construction of this dam.
1. The Kaeng Suaten dam, if built, would be only 8 per
cent effective in preventing flood, according to the study by the Food
and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
2. The study by the Thailand Development and Research
Institute (TDRI) has concluded that it is not cost-effective.
3. The dam poses the grave threat to an ecological system
of the Mae Yom National Park, according to the study of the Thailand Research
4. The study by Chulalongkorn University concluded that
the site of the Kaeng Suaten dam in the Mae Yom National Park is the kingdoms
only remaining timber forest. Therefore, it should be preserved as the
5. The Wildlife Funds Thailand under the Royal Patronage
has studied and concluded that there are others and more sustainable ways
in water management, or in preventing flood without having to built the
Kaeng Suaten dam.
We hereby, condemn a shameful attempt by a few people
to seek interest from an exploitation of an opportunity to push for the
construction of the Kaeng Suaten dam as an excuse to prevent flood in
defiance of all available reasons that this dam is not a viable solution.
We therefore, propose the following priorities to solve
the flood in the Yom river basin;
1. The conprehensive way in water management base on an
ecological-friendly approach and the sustainable model of development.
2. The rehabilitation and restoration of the river, forest,
forest conservation, plantation, protection, and management that promotes
peoples participation, which is one of several ways to restore and bring
back the the ecosytem.
3. The dredging of sediments to revive the river, water
diversion, and the building of irrigation grids to distribute water to
other areas outside the community.
4. The restoration of the Yom river lowland can be done
through the dredging of the canals that connected the rivers and other
water resources, an elevation of road surfaces, the building of the houses
with its lowest floor higer than the highest flooded level. What can also
be employed are plantations of crops that suit to the soils conditions,
the declaration of the area as the flood-prone area, the stop of the infrastructure
projects that block the waterway in the lowland area of the Yom river
basin, the proper use of the area for recreation, fisheries, and for the
conservation of biodiversity.
These approaches are ecological friendly and are efficient in preventing
flood in the area down the basin as well as in the capital Bangkok as
the Yom river basin has the storage capacity of upto 500-1,500 million
qubic metres (more than the Kaeng Suaten dams storage capacity).
5. Demand side management. Currently, the Yom river basin has about 24
large and medium-sized irrigation systems, 220 small systems, and 26 pump
storage water system, with the overall irrigation areas of 1,117,465 rais.
All these irrigation systems are low efficient, ranging from 35% for the
irrigation system to about 57% for the pump storage system, while the
efficiency of the irrigation system all over the world on average is 64%.
The management that address the demand side through such
measures as the maintaining of the existing irrigation systems, the support
of the formation of the waters users group, and the provision of information
to water users, would save huge volume of water, for example, as much
as 101 million qubic metres, in the case of the irrigation system. This
is equivalent to the amount of water consumption of some 7.6 million people
in the Yom river basin.
6. The development of small water resources as detailed
in the plan prepared by the Local Administration Department of the Interior
Ministry. This kind of project would solve the problem of water shortage
on the budget of about 3 million Baht per each villages.
7. The development of tap water production. The shortage
of water in big cities especially during the dry season when the demands
for water were peaked, is not only a result of the lack of water, but
also due to an inadequacy in tap water production by the involved agencies.
An example of this is the shortage of water in Sukhothai province in the
dry season because the water production system is only 60 % efficient
during that season.
Thus, the expansion of tap water production would solve
the problem of the shortage of water for consumption in the big cities
during the dry season. However, it is still necessary to stress the importance
of an efficient use of water in the dry season.
We would also like to call upon the following
1. Immediate cancellation of Kaeng Suaten dam.
2. The governments promotion of communitys quality of
life and sustainable natural resource management in line with the propose
of the Assembly of the Poor.
3. The promotion of peoples participation in all development
projects to be implemented in Yom River basin towards the direction of
sustainability of natural resources and secured peoples livelihood.
4. The promotion and encouragement of forest conservation
so that the forest becomes the community forest. The government should
also provide budget for the villagers to look after them.
For peace and happiness of the community and the nation,
we call upon his excellency Prime Minister to scrap this project in order
to preserve the natural resource, the environment, and the community,
and to adhere to the 7 strategic priorities of the World Commission on
Dam, that are;
1. Gaining public acceptance.
2. Comprehensive options assessment.
3. Addressing existing dam.
4. Sustaining river and livelihood.
5. Recognizing entitlement and sharing benefits.
6. Ensuring compliance.
7. Sharing river for peace, development, and security.
Enclosed herewith please find ; 1. Twelve reasons why
Kaeng Sueten dam should not be constructed 2. alternatives to the construction
of Kaeng Sueten Dam 3. the Assembly of the Poors proposal to solve dam
problems and water management and 4. position paper 1 and 2.
Thank you very much for your kind consideration.
(Mr Chum Sa Ieab Kong) (Mr Seng Khwangyuen)
(Mr Oun Khanthabutra ) (Mr San Sanum)
Representatives of villagers affected from the proposed
Kaen Sua ten dam
Stop destroying forest. Stop
destroying the community. Stop wasting national
budget. Stop exploiting mega projects. Stop
the Kaeng Suaten dam.