BANGKOK, July 29 (Xinhua) -- The Thai Ministry of Energy on Monday said it will deploy solar-powered pumps to drought-stricken farmers in the north and northeast.
Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said solar-powered pumps would be immediately installed to pump ground water to quickly assist residents for consumption and to irrigate their farmland.
"I have instructed provincial energy officials to fully use their solar-powered pumps especially during periods of strong sunlight to relieve the hardships of farmers and villagers who are seriously suffering from water shortages," Sontirat said.
Since last year, the Energy Ministry has approved the spending of its energy conservation and promotion fund for 1,450 solar-powered pumps nationwide and 119 of them have been installed.
The energy minister said the rest will be installed before the end of this year.
The Meteorological Department on July 17 said Thailand is going to experience the worst drought in a decade, as average precipitation across large swaths of the country has fallen far short of the monthly average.
The drought is expected to affect 105 districts across 12 provinces.