German tourist takes on foul latrine in Kamala

KAMALA, PHUKET: A German tourist disgusted with the state of a public toilet at Kamala Beach has taken it upon himself to give the bog a thorough cleaning every day.

The German, 56-year-old Rohlofe Jeck, is in Kamala on a one-week holiday, staying in a rented accommodation near the Kamala Public Health Office.

Yesterday afternoon, Mr Jeck was spotted by a group of women who were doing aerobics near the tsunami memorial monument.

People were amazed to see the diligent German wearing rubber gloves and using his hands to rid the bowl of its disgusting contents with equipment paid for with his own money.

The bathroom, built with Tourism Authority of Thailand funding as part of its post-tsunami beach front redevelopment plan, has for years been ignored by local authorities who were entrusted with its care and maintenance.

It is not,  however, ignored by passers-by with full bladders and bowels,

The combination of usage and lack of maintenance left the toilet in a sorry state – until Mr Jeck came along.

Saying he used the commode every day on his way to the beach, the German added he could no longer stand the disgusting stench emanating therefrom and decided to do something about it.

Mr Jeck’s whole-hearted devotion to hygiene has won him praise among local people.

Some have pointed out that as public property in such a high-profile location, local government organizations should do a better job at keeping the bathroom clean.

They are also worried that the bathroom will quickly revert to its old state after Mr Jeck’s vacation is over.

This will leave a dark stain on Phuket’s image as a world-class tourist destination as the fifth anniversary of the tsunami approaches, they say.

Most public bathrooms at Phuket beaches are maintained by staff who charge people two or three baht to use them under a concession with the local administrative body. It is not known why this arrangement was not being used at this particular bathroom.

Despite the honorable intent of Mr Jeck’s actions, his endeavors may technically be running afoul of Thailand’s strict alien labor laws.

These state that it is a criminal offense for any foreigner to engage in work, regardless of whether one is receiving remuneration, without a government-issued work permit.

Only Burmese, Lao and Cambodian are allowed to work as cleaners, which is an occupation otherwise reserved for Thais.


Phuket News
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