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Funding for tsunami victim ID “embarrassing’ – Interpol

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Funding for tsunami victim ID “embarrassing’ – Interpol | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Ronald K Noble, the Secretary General of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), this morning lashed out at the lack of funding from the international community for work to continue in identifying victims of the December 26 tsunami.

“We, as a world community, should be embarrassed that the people in the DVI teams, who should be [regarded as] heroes, aren’t getting all the support they need,” Mr Noble said.

“These dedicated police officers and experts, who have come here to look at these remains and take DNA samples, are having to raise money [for their investigations].”

Mr Noble said that he had heard of DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) staff having to write up business plans to obtain equipment and funding, or having to contact friends and colleagues to source ink cartridges for printers.

The situation had become so bad that Mr Noble approved the establishment of a 5,000-euro (about 250,000 baht) petty cash fund to cover incidental expenses.

Since January, Interpol – which is based in Lyon, France – has been co-ordinating the efforts of DVI teams from around the world to reunite tsunami victims with their families.

At present, the work of each of the score-or-so DVI teams operating in Phuket at any one time is funded solely by its home country. But this system is “inefficient” said Mr Noble, as it can lead to duplication of some resources, but shortages in others.

“Individual countries can say they have been here from the very beginning and they have donated enough resources, but, really, that isn’t good enough for the family members. [They] want their relatives to be identified as soon as possible,” he said.

Mr Noble supported the Thai Tsunami Victims Identification center’s executive committee in its attempts to secure international funding for what is being done in Phuket.

He said this was particularly important because since the tsunami slipped off the front pages of the world’s newspapers and foreign victims were being identified, foreign governments are facing less pressure to continue contributing to the effort, even though it could be necessary for many years.

The need for an international disaster victims identification fund was one of three lessons Interpol had learned from the tsunami, said Mr Noble.

Another was the need for an international DVI team capable of working on large-scale catastrophes such as the tsunami.

The third lesson cited by Mr Noble was that it is crucial to have the full support of the government of the country in which the DVI operation is taking place, as had happened in Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Maldives following the tsunami.

Said Mr Noble, “We have never dealt with anything on this scale before. If Interpol deploys an incident response team to, for example, an aircraft crash, usually it will deploy three people for a handful of days.

“But we put people into Phuket on January 2 – 10 of them – and in Sri Lanka there have been between four and six people. And it’s now 144 or so days since the tsunami.”

Because each DVI team is being funded by its home country, no central agency involved in the DVI process has calculated how much the operation has cost so far – or how much it could cost.

Mr Noble, who was Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the US Treasury Department, said Interpol expects to spend 7 million euros (more than 350 million baht) before its involvement ends.



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Phuket

Power outage hits parts of Thalang

The Thaiger

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Power outage hits parts of Thalang | The Thaiger

Electricity was shut off in Thalang today. The The Phuket Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) announced the outage.

Residents of Thalang have had to endure blackouts from 9am to 4.30pm today as the PEA continues its work on high power voltage systems in the area.

Areas being affected are from Makprok PTT Gas Station to Baan Mueang Mai Intersection and from Baan Mueang Mai Intersection to Mud Dok Khao Intersection on Thepkrasattri Road.

As always, the PEA apologises for the inconvenience. (Maybe we can sit in the PEA and enjoy their air-conditioning)

For more information contact the Operations and Maintenance Department of the Provincial Electricity Authority on 076 386 880 – 2

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Phuket

Top 10 ways to save water at home

The Thaiger

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Top 10 ways to save water at home | The Thaiger

Hot weather and Thailand’s boom-or-bust water issues (floods in wet season and water shortages in the hot season) are a part of our life. And it’s predicted that there will be hotter hot seasons and wetter wet-seasons in the future. Even if we’re not sure what the future brings we should all be conscious of our water usage, be more self-sufficient and empower ourselves to do something positive to protect Thailand’s precious water reserves.

Here are a few ideas that may help you become more water-wise…

• Shower with a bucket. Don’t let all that water pour down the drain and stick a bucket next to you whilst you shower. The plants will be grateful for an extra drink on hot days and save you using the hose sometimes. Whilst you’re at it, cut your 5 minute shower down to three minutes. Really, you can sing somewhere else! And, really, do we absolutely have to have four showers a day? No. A fresh spray of the deodorant and a fresh shirt will be perfectly OK during water shortages. For couples, well, shower together!

• Leave the water running whilst brushing your teeth? Try turning it off until you want to rinse out your mouth. All that useable water flowing down the basic drain whilst you’re brushing isn’t making your teeth any whiter! Same when you’re washing your hands or washing your hair. Turn off the tap whilst you’re doing all the scrubbing. These little habits could end up saving tens of litres every time you do these common tasks.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

• Boiling pasta? Rice? Eggs? Once the left-over water has cooled use it to water your indoor or outdoor plants. Just make sure the water has cooled first!

• Washing the car at a car wash is more efficient than doing it yourself at home. Car wash businesses recycle a lot of their water. Even better, drive around with a dirty car now and then – it’s not hurting you or the car and will save water by delaying your car wash.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

• Lawns use lots of water and daily watering during the hot season can soak up hundreds of litres of valuable. Letting your lawn go brown, be assured it will come back in the wet season. And long-term, landscape accordingly with water wise ground covers, succulents, and other plants that thrive in drought conditions. Lawns may be a luxury we can’t afford in these water-conscious times.

• Only run the dishwasher when it’s full. Even better wash the dishes by hand. Dishwashing machines are notable water wasters. Grab you partner or a friend and have a chat or a laugh for the five minutes it will take you to wash the dishes by hand. You could save up to 50-100 litres of water! And fill up the sink once and do all the washing together without leaving the water running all the time.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

• Whilst it hasn’t been a worry in the past, our useable potable water supplies around Thailand are becoming an issue that won’t be fixed immediately. Consider installing a simple rain catchment system. They can be cheap or expensive and should be considered if you’re building a new house as an integral part of the design. Your roof is an amazing water-catcher. Use it.

• Flush the toilet less often and with less water. Most modern toilets have a half-flush option and there are other tricks to reducing the re-fill in your toilet’s cistern – putting a brick into your cistern is one way (gently!).

• Water the plants early in the morning. You’ll need less water, since cooler morning temperatures mean less evaporation. It’s not a great idea to water in the evenings, since this can promote mould growth in the humid Thai weather and hot evenings. And you really don’t need to water the driveway. It’s not growing. No one is going to walk past your house and compliment you on your sparkling clean drive-way.

• The dog WILL survive without being washed every day, or week. Indeed our dogs used to survive perfectly well without being washed at all. If the family pooch does need a wash try and use some of the water you saved from the bucket in the shower and be careful not to leave the hose on whilst rubbing in the shampoo. As for the cat, it is genetically programmed to clean itself better than you could ever hope to. Leave the cat alone – it DOES NOT need to be washed.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu

The Thaiger

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Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Chatchanon Na Thalang

A luxury house, under construction, has been found on the Nark Herd Hills overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu.

The issue came to light after aerial photos of the house went viral in local social media. Yesterday officials paid a visit to the new house.

A man name Taweep Phonputchai from Bangkok, a representative of the land owner, met with officials and presented the land title deed to officers. The land covers an area of about 10 rai.

The land used to be rubber plantation. Officials have checked and found that the land has a legal land tittle deed but are continuing their investigation into the new residence.

Meanwhile, look how low the dam is!

Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Chatchanon Na Thalang

Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger

 

 

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