Bangkok Post - - URBAN LIFE -

Dur­ing the past rainy month of Septem­ber, res­i­dents of Ban Kut Lom in Chonnabot district of Khon Kaen proved to them­selves that any­thing is pos­si­ble if they are united.

By mid-Septem­ber, wa­ter lev­els in the Chi River, the main river in the prov­ince, were ris­ing steadily, pos­ing a grow­ing threat of flood­ing to the river­side com­mu­ni­ties as well as a more than 300-year-old yang na tree

( Dipte­ro­car­pus ala­tus) seen by the lo­cals as a pre­cious in­her­i­tance.

The im­mi­nent flood­ing prompted the vil­lagers to come to­gether to dis­cuss what they could do to save the tree and pre­vent their com­mu­ni­ties from be­ing flooded.

The brain­storm­ing led them to come to an agree­ment to build a flood wall made mainly of eu­ca­lyp­tus logs, which are com­mon in the area, while large sand­bags used to for­tify the eu­ca­lyp­tus pile flood wall were do­nated by lo­cal busi­ness op­er­a­tors.

The last time this vil­lage, con­sist­ing of 129 house­holds, re­ceived bud­get to fund the con­struc­tion of a new flood wall was in 2013 but was only enough to build a 350-me­tre long bar­rier, which wasn’t suf­fi­cient to pro­tect the en­tire com­mu­nity dur­ing the rainy sea­son.

TREE OF LIFE: A 300-year-old yang na tree (Dipte­ro­car­pus ala­tus) by the Chi River.

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