Phuket mangrove squatters make plea for water, electricity

PHUKET: About 200 villagers who live in homes illegally established in a mangrove forest yesterday asked the Chalong mayor to supply them with electricity and water.

“We have been living there since 1992,” said Somporn Nookhong, the head of the Klong Mudong Community. We started with 10 families and now there are over 200.”

“Most of us earn very little income,” he explained. “We get our power by tapping into power cables serving other communities.”

The illicit power supply is not enough for the whole community and children are forced to do their homework by candlelight, he said, adding that it was also unsafe.

Water supply to the community was also poor, Mr Somporn told Chalong Mayor Samran Jindapol.

“Most of the time we do not have it. When it runs, the water sometimes goes red, or is dirty, so we can not really use it.”

Mayor Samran acknowledged the protesters’ complaints and said he would discuss solutions with relevant officials.

“We will try our best, but we cannot guarantee they will have water and electricity supplied 24/7 because the community is in a mangrove forest,” Mayor Samran stated.

The mayor’s promise to seek solutions within a week satisfied the protesters, who dispersed.

— Chutharat Plerin

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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