BOOK CHAPTER: Chapter 5: Living with and against floods in Bangkok and Thailand's central plain

Publication date:
December 2017

Living with Floods in a Mobile Southeast Asia: A Political Ecology of Vulnerability, Migration and Environmental Change

Naruemon Thabchumpon and Narumon Arunotai

Carl Middleton, Rebecca Elmhirst and Supang Chantavanich

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In this chapter, Naruemon Thabchumpon and Narumon Arunotai present empirical research on the impacts of the major flood in 2011 in Thailand on three urban, one semi-urban and three rural communities. The chapter shows that whilst the rural communities are largely adapted to seasonal flooding, the 2011 flood increased vulnerability due to damage of property and livelihoods. In urban areas, communities were not well prepared and therefore were highly vulnerable. The chapter discusses the contentious politics of how vulnerability was exacerbated by government policy to protect core urban and industrial areas, leaving rural and suburban areas flooded. Thabchumpon and Arunotai nd that in the case studies selected the relationship between flooding and mobility is subtle. For example, some, but not all, rural migrants living in urban areas returned to their rural family homes, where living with floods was more feasible.

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