Doi Chang Model
Landslide Watch and Monitoring System
Colluvium deposits and landslides are critical issues happening in Doi Chang Village, Moo 3, Wawi, Mae Suai, Chiang Rai. This is a problem that affects an area with more than 1,200 households in regard to safety, loss of lives and property damages. For instance; structural damages on buildings and utility systems (Fig. 1) because the area is vulnerable to natural disasters. Additionally, the Wawi District Administration was not able to gain public cooperation to evacuate from high risk areas because the areas are vital to the residents’ livelihood. Therefore, the residents are forced to live with the risk of landslides. The other issue with the area concerns zoning. The area in question is a forest reserve making it complicated for many agencies and organizations to offer help or enforce laws. There are areas like these all over Thailand.
Such challenges prompted the Agricultural Research Development Agency (Public Organization), National Research Council of Thailand and Kasetsart University along with community network parties to find ways to fix the issues by utilizing academic knowledge to integrate in community collaboration for solutions. By using the success of the innovative landslide warning system to alert any possible disaster to minimize loss and damages, and to watch and prepare for landslide disasters through training. This helps residents to handle any sudden landslides themselves, especially for residents in areas not conducive to evacuation. Therefore, a system must be developed to warn residents residing in high-risk areas. Doi Chang Model – the prototype for a Landslide Watch and Monitoring System can be implemented to other affected areas all over the country and even in other countries with similar legal issues.
The Landslide Watch and Monitoring System is an innovative result of a research project started in 2015-2016 in which a study was conducted on the problems and how they affect the people within the community as well as the behavior of colluvium deposits at the top most area of the Doi Chang Village which lead to the development of the remote warning box.
In 2017-2019, the prototype of the Landslide Warning System was developed as well as test installations of the Warning System in Doi Chang, with a focus on a user-friendly design. Community feedback was recorded and taken into account throughout the development of the Warning System.
In 2020-2021, structural problems were addressed by building surface drainage rails and underground water drainage system, designing a manual for constructions to be done on slopes, organizing training for local technicians and pushing for the issuance of local provisions for construction on slopes. As for the monitoring and evaluation process, throughout the research project, ARDA along with NRCT and KU received help and cooperation from residents in the Doi Chang area – in corroborating useful information, being part of interviews, community forums as well as exchanging and sharing opinions and ideas. There is public participation from the start of the design process, all the way to implementation.
The key step in the success of the Landslide Watch and Monitoring System that is apparent amongst the residents of Doi Chang is the culture of acceptance and the tangible utilization of the Landslide Warning System.
1) Remote Warning Box for sending and receiving radio signal (offline mode) to combat the possible compromised phone signal interference during heavy rainfall in the river source areas.
2) An Application called “LandslideWarning.Thai” on smartphones (online mode) is a two-way communication form on Android operating systems to watch and monitor landslide disasters, monitor displacement behavior of landslides in high-risk areas and cumulative rainfall for landslide warning with live data updates and processes for statistical analysis.