Environment changes of Lampao Dam communities in Northeast Thailand.

Author:Sata, Winyoo


The changes of the world environment in the last 200 years have taken place rapidly. The exploitation or the removal of natural resources from their origins has led to the extinction of many species of plants and animals. The widespread poisoning of the atmosphere, water and the seas has brought about global warming. The change in direction of water flows on the earth surface and the melting of the polar ice have affected seasonal changes as well as such natural occurrence as earth quakes, volcano explosions, forest fires, floods, droughts and the red color of sea water. All these changes have unavoidably impacted living things especially human being. All the while during this same 200 years period, the rapid increase of world population and the deterioration of natural resources have forced the humans to reexamine their own activities such as their economic development of all kinds, technological development, knowledge transfers, education and conservation of community environment. Otherwise, disaster will inevitably happen to the earth and the humans as a whole (1). In the same vein, the Sa-adnathom village community, adjacent to the Lampao Dam in Northeast Thailand, has faced the same rapid changes of their environment during the last few decades. This article presents a summary of the research on the environment changes of this community before and after the construction of the Lampao Dam.

History: The Settlement of sa-adnathom community: About 200 years ago, the Sa-adnathom community was born by settlement of people who migrated from the Lao-Thai Kingdom of the White Elephants. Archeological proofs may be seen from canals and the ponds surrounding the area, such as Nongwaeng and the old canals surrounding the city of Chiangsom. Thus Sa-adnathom must have been an agricultural community, relying on natural resources for their livelihood. Besides, Sa-adnathom was also a commercial centre trading in cattle with Nongwaeng Swamp in the east as the encampment site for traders from surrounding villages. Later on these settlers of Chiangsom deserted the community. Sa-adnathom folks related their common hypothesis: "This area used to be a deserted village. Deadly epidemics or some kind of war forced people to move away. Repeated droughts and floods must have also caused famine. So people moved away and sought new place to make their living". In 1892 a group of Thai-Lao people migrated from Kham Makmai village, Yangtalad district, Kalasin to occupy this deserted area. During the reign of Rama VII, the revolution in 1932 brought about a new regime along with governmental reforms such as restructuring of some districts and provinces. Yangtalad district came under direct jurisdiction of Nakorn Rajsima Sub-region. An epidemics broke out in Yangtalad district, causing villagers of Kham Makmai, Khambon and Nongkhon to come together and seek new homes. They set out along the Yang river on the south of Yangtalad district and...

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