Guidelines for Flood Management : case study from Nonthaburi Municipality

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Titus Mala
Sunthonchai Chopyot
Pisarn Prompitakkul


     In 2011 Thailand experienced “the Mega-Flood,” which caused serious damage and has already become a noted part of the country’s history. In that incident, local governments, as the main actors in providing public services, participated in resolving the problem, especially in Nonthaburi Municipality, which is in charge of the area in the end zone of water management, where water passes just before draining into the Gulf of
Thailand. Nonthaburi Municipality had to take care of an area that included over 10 kilometers of the Chaophraya River’s banks. In addition, it had to take care of Bang Talad Canal, Suay Canal, and Bang Khen Canal, which are 15.7 kilometers in length in total. With that geography, the flood management was very challenging, but Nonthaburi Municipality was able to save the city. This study has three objectives: firstly, to explore
factors affecting the achievements in flood management of Nonthaburi Municipality; secondly, to explore problems and obstacles in flood management in Nonthaburi Municipality; finally, to suggest some guidelines for sustainable flood management for local governments. Information was gathered through documentary research, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions with the executives/ officers of Nonthaburi
Municipality, members of the Municipality Council, representatives of the people, and private organizations that participated in the flood management efforts of local authorities.

     This study revealed several achievements in flood management of Nonthaburi Municipality. The first factor was having a protection and mitigation plan that was developed via risk evaluation and promotion of  understanding and awareness of protecting and mitigating the disaster. Second, was the readiness of Nonthaburi Municipality and of its people, their ability to dwell in the basin area of Chaophraya River basin area, having of flood management plan, and preparation of officers for handling flooding. Third, having of management system for emergency situations like floods, crisis management, promoting collaboration for flood management, communication system in time of crisis, establishing of command center and sanctuary for victims. And fourth, having appropriate post-crisis management, treatment and care, and compensation for
victims. The problems and obstacles in flood management of Nonthaburi Municipality were, firstly, the limitations of laws related to procurement. During the incident, Nonthaburi Municipality could not comply with the laws. Secondly, problems in garbage collection, if handled inappropriately, could cause refuse to accumulate then magnified to be a health problem for the community in the long run. Thirdly, there was a lack of
instruments and manpower in time of crisis. As a result, there was discord over the allocation of sandbags. Fourthly, the flood barriers leaked continuously. Fifthly, there was a problem concerning safety of lives and property, with people concerned enough about their belongings that they were willing to put their lives at risk. And lastly, there were problems in delivering compensation.

     The suggestions for sustainable flood management of local governments were, first, to have planning of flood management, flood prevention and mitigation, preparation for flood management, management for crisis situations (flooding), post-disaster management. Second, leadership in time of crisis could help decision making. Third, there should be collaboration-building with a variety of sectors involved in flood  management. Fourth, a sanctuary area should be prepared. Moreover, there were three remarks arising from this study. First, the study advocates the idea of expanding localism for handling difficult problems as much as possible. Second, politicians have a responsibility to their people. Third, local areas should be professionally managed. And last, there should be networking in local administrations.


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mala, titus ., chopyot, sunthonchai ., & prompitakkul, pisarn . (2020). Guidelines for Flood Management : case study from Nonthaburi Municipality. King Prajadhipok’s Institute Journal, 12(2), 77–105. Retrieved from
Original Articles


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