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Phuket’s black wastewater oozes toward tourists

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PHUKET: Alarmed officials are concerned how the weather has turned the flow of black wastewater from a canal at Bang Tao toward a beach area where tourists swim.

“All tourists are afraid to swim here. They are going to Layan Beach instead,” said local resident Jumnong Korkaew.

When Governor Maitri Inthusut inspected the site on April 12 (story here), the wind pushed the dirty water away from the tourists’ swimming zone, he explained.

“The dirty water didn’t affect tourists because it flowed toward the area where longtail boats are anchored,” said Mr Jumnong.

“But now the wind has changed, and the black water heads directly into the area where tourists swim.”

The dirty water has drastically affected local people’s incomes, Mr Jumnong said.

“Right now very few tourists come here as the water is worse than ever. The smell and the color are terrible; the stench sometimes stings my eyes and nose,” he added.

“It’s because hotels still release wastewater directly into the canal.”

Ma-ann Samran, president of the Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor), warned tourists who have open wounds to avoid going into the water.

“All people, including residents, tourists and fisherman, please do not go into the sea if you have any cuts on your body,” he said.

People who do come into contact with the dirty water should wash the affected areas with clean water as soon as possible, he added.

“Our officers are working on the wastewater problem. We will make it better as soon as we can,” Mr Ma-ann said.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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