Wiped out with as little as 30% remaining, Pomelo orchards make last stand with 4 km long 4,000 bag big bag barrier & 42,000 liters of fuel + 100 pumps to save the fruit trees that remain.
Photo above of a pomelo fruit without the skin, below with the skin (Source: Wikipedia)
Click button to listen to World Bank Report on Orchards Battle the Floodwaters to download
RUNNING OUT OF TIME: Inundated pomelo trees wither in an orchard in Koh Song Kanong area in Nakhon Pathom’s Sam Phran district
Pomelo growers hope big barrier rescue plan will bear fruit, Residents say the livelihood of hundreds depends on saving flooded crops by Apinya Wipatayotin.
Pomelo grower Polpon Sae-C says his orchard and livelihood depend on the success of a planned big bag barrier to be built surrounding the Koh Song Kanong area in Nakhon Pathom's Sam Phran district.
Even if the plan succeeds, he says he has already lost about one million baht in revenue after crops perished when floodwaters began inundating his orchard and the surrounding Koh Song Kanong area last month.
Now, Mr Polpon hopes that the water is drained out of his orchard quickly so that his 10-year-old pomelo trees can survive.
The 55-year-old grower is among hundreds of families in four tambons of Sam Phran district who make a living from growing and selling fruit, particularly the famous Sam Phran pomelo. The community covers an area of 5,000 rai.
After being inundated for a month, the growers, with the support of academics, state agencies and non-governmental organisations, came up with the idea to build a four-kilometre big bag barrier to block the flow of floodwater from upstream.
Next, about 100 pumps will be installed to drain the floodwater in to the Tha Chin River.
In addition, 14 small canals in the Koh Song Kanong area will be sealed to reduce the amount of water flowing in to the plantation zone.
Mr Polpon said the operation is expected to be completed in 10 days and should be sufficient to save some of his pomelo trees.
"If the plan is successful, I hope that about 30% of my trees can survive - but if it's not, all of them will die," he said.
This crisis is beyond our control. We need the government to take care of us and help us to save this area, which is the best pomelo-growing region in the country.
Shin Prasertmark, chairman of the Song Kanong Tambon Administration Organisation, said a special committee has been set up to decide where to place the 4,000 big bags earmarked for the project and to coordinate with other parties. About 42,000 litres of fuel is expected to be consumed for the pumping operation.
Academics from Kasetsart University have suggested orchard owners pump oxygen into the floodwater and clear leaves and fruits which have fallen into the water.
"By doing this we believe our orchards will have a chance to survive," said Mr Shin.
This is the first time any of us has faced a crisis like this and it is the first time that we have worked together to protect our culture.
He said the Koh Song Kanong area typically generates over one billion baht per year from pomelo sales, especially to international markets such as China, Hong Kong and Japan.
Meanwhile, Kamol Peamsomboon, chairman of Tha Chin River Basin Council, said the river has a limited capacity for waterflow of only 50 million cubic metres per day due to its flat geography. But currently, the river has to take in over 80 million cu/m per day of overflow, overwhelming riverside areas.
He suggested a major dredging of the river and the removal of a number of bridge poles blocking the waterflow so that the river can carry at least 70 million cu/m per day.
He also expected the flooding situation along the Tha Chin River would return to normal within 45 days.
(Source: Bangkok Post, Pomelo growers hope big barrier rescue plan will bear fruit, Residents say the livelihood of hundreds depends on saving flooded crops, 27/11/2011, Apinya Wipatayotin, link)
Battling the Floodwaters Vocabulary
pomelo - a large Southeast Asian citrus fruit; green to yellow on the outside white, red, pink on the inside; (that looks like and tastes like a grapefruit but larger) (See Wikipedia)
citrus fruit - a fruit such as an orange, pomelo, grapefruit or lemon with a sharp sour and sweet taste (See Wikipedia)
running out of time - have only small amount of time to finish and complete a task
wither - when a plant or flower dries up and dies
orchard - an area of land where fruit trees are grown สวนหรือแปลงผลไม้
inundated pomelo trees wither in an orchard
barrier - something that prevents movement through a place อุปสรรค
big bag barrier - floodwalls made with very large sandbags, here is Suranand Vejjajiva's definition: "The mother of all sandbags is of course the famous (or infamous) "big bag". This is a bag weighing one tonne and standing one metre high. Each requires a crane to lift and place down to create the floodwall barrier" (See his article last Friday)
rescue - to save someone from a dangerous situation ช่วยชีวิต
pomelo growers hope big barrier rescue plan will bear fruit
livelihood - the way that a person earns money to pay for food, a place to live, clothing, etc (such as a job or small business) การดำรงชีวิต, การครองชีพ งาน แหล่งที่มาของรายได้
residents say the livelihood of hundreds depends on saving flooded crops
surrounding - all around a place บริเวณรอบๆ
revenue - income from taxes or business activities รายได้
has already lost about one million baht in revenue after crops perished when floodwaters began inundating his orchard
drained - if you drain something, you remove the liquid from it, usually by pouring it away or allowing it to flow away รีดน้ำออก
survive - to continue to exist รอดพ้น continue to live มีชีวิตรอด to manage to deal with something difficult or unpleasant, in this case, to continue in the same job despite many problems รอดไปได้
hopes that the water is drained out of his orchard quickly so that his 10-year-old pomelo trees can survive
make a living - work to earn money to pay for food, clothing and place to live (have a livelihood)
make a living from growing and selling fruit
community - the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
the community covers an area of 5,000 rai.
inundated - flooded ถูกน้ำท่วม, จมลงใต้น้ำ
inundated for a month
non-governmental organisation (NGO) - an organization that provides help to people in need, neither a company nor part of the government (See Wikipedia)
support - help สนับสนุน
academics - professors and lecturers at universities and colleges
support of academics, non-governmental organisations
come up with an idea -
block - to stop something from moving through or along something else กีดขวาง ปิดกั้น
block the flow of water
upstream - up the river (towards the beginning of the river)
block the flow of water from upstream
came up with the idea to build a four-kilometre big bag barrier to block the flow of floodwater from upstream
plantation - a large farm where crops such as tea, coffee, cotton, sugar or, in this case, trees, are grown ไร่ นาขนาดใหญ่
14 small canals in the Koh Song Kanong area will be sealed to reduce the amount of water flowing in to the plantation zone
expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
the operation is expected to be completed in 10 days
sufficient - enough พอเพียง
should be sufficient to save some of his pomelo trees
I hope that about 30% of my trees can survive
crisis - an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤตการณ์ วิกฤต
this crisis is beyond our control.
earmarked - use for a special purpose or programme
the 4,000 big bags earmarked for the project
coordinate - work together to achieve a goal, organizing activities so that people can work together efficiently (See glossary)
parties - people or companies entering into a business arrangement or deal
coordinate with other parties
consume fuel -
about 42,000 litres of fuel is expected to be consumed for the pumping operation.
pump oxygen into the floodwater
clear - move away
clear leaves and fruits which have fallen into the water
have a chance to survive
typically - usually; normally อย่างเป็นแบบฉบับ
generates sales - create sales, make money from sales
typically generates sales - usually sells and makes money
the Koh Song Kanong area typically generates over one billion baht per year from pomelo sales
capacity - the total amount that can be contained ปริมาณสูงสุดที่จะรับได้
limited capacity -
geography - the shape or location of the land at a place, examples: flat, hilly, mountainous, in a valley, by a river or lake, by the sea
flat geography - a place where the land is flat
the river has a limited capacity for waterflow of only 50 million cubic metres per day due to its flat geography.
overwhelming riverside areas.
dredging of the river
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