Bringing critical assistance to animals in flood-ravaged Thailand

15 August 2017

As Sakonnakhon province struggles to deal with the worst flooding in 43 years, we are helping vulnerable animals in the area, as well as the people who depend on them for their livelihoods.

Recent torrential rains and an overflowing Huay Sai reservoir have inundated Sakonnakhon province in Thailand. Farmers are struggling to keep themselves and their animals alive as they cope with the worst floods in 43 years.

World Animal Protection sprang to action and, working with the local government and the Department of Livestock Development, are delivering feed to more than 24,000 cattle and water buffalo.

Aerial view of Don Ngew Pattana community, surrounded by flood.

Most of the area affected is farmland and rice paddies. The people and animals’ lives here are closely intertwined, and our team met many farmers who were deeply concerned about their animals.

For many, the floods have all but destroyed their crops for this season. Mrs. Uraiwan Pansena is a farmer in a small village named Ban Nongcan. She described how the floods have drowned all of her crops, and how she struggles to keep her seven cows and three water buffalos fed while tending to her ten family members. “I have no way to support them all. I may be forced to sell off my animals but then what will I do when the money runs out?” she said.

Staff demonstrate to local farmers how to use the pineapple silage.

Livestock are crammed into overflowing evacuation camps where, despite everyone’s best efforts, conditions are becoming unsanitary. The region has been without electricity for over a week. The farmers worry that the stress of the floods, the cramped conditions and the exposure to dung will make their animals sick.

The flood waters have reached an area where cattle are normally kept. The cattle have been temporarily moved to a temple located on higher ground. 

Mr. Banyat Thonhamkaew, head of a local livestock association explained: “If our animals fall ill, we’ll be unable even to sell them. They are our investments that we bought with bank loans and for many of us, the only investments we have.” Mr. Thonkamkaew went on to say that the banks were expecting repayment in five months which only adds to their stress.

World Animal Protection identified the animals and famers in greatest need and provided 120 tons of pineapple silage and 40 cubic tons of roughage to keep the livestock fed during the worst of the disaster. We also provided about 100 kilos of dog and cat food as we came across many hungry pets.

The World Animal Protection team unloads the roughage for distribution to livestock owners.

Our team was led by Dr, Naritsorn Pholperm, Disaster Management project manager in Thailand. He said, “We’ve seen heart breaking scenes of animals and their owners trying to survive this awful flood. The only consolation is that we, along with the government and other NGOs, are here trying to make their lives a little easier.”

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we can be there for animals suffering in disasters around the world.

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