Every year, monsoon floods create more damage in one of Heifer Thailand’s targeted project villages, Pha Sam Yod. The village is settled in a valley with a stream running through it.
One late night in mid-October, while all villagers of Pha Sam Yod were sleeping deeply, a voice from the loudspeakers announced that a massive flood was rapidly approaching the village. Residents rushed to gather their belongings, move their livestock to higher ground and save their own lives. They weren’t able to save everything before the village and road became submerged by water.
Two Self-Help Group (SHG) members, Bubpha Phupewnak and Nares Mulkate, each received one sow and two piglets from the Heifer project. Luckily, with help from fellow villagers, they were able to save their livestock from the massive floods. Since their families live close to each other, they put their pigs in one small pen that was away from high water.
In addition to being a challenging situation for humans, the flooding was no picnic for the animals. Sharing one small pen was uncomfortable, causing the animals to fight with each other, and Bubpha’s sow died. Losing her belongings and beloved animal made Bupha very sad, but neighbors and Heifer Thailand staff comforted her and plan to help her find a new sow.
Before the flood, other SHG members and villagers lost their chickens from a pandemic disease. Unaffected families willingly gave chickens from their healthy flocks to their neighbors who lost poultry.
The Pha Nok Kao people have to cope with natural disasters, but their compassion for each other is visibly increasing. Also, the disasters have provided lessons to be better prepared for the future and minimize their losses.