Connect with us

Phuket

Rubbish piling up on Phuket’s sister ‘eco-island’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Now that the two municipal landfills on Koh Yao Noi are filled to capacity, villagers living on the island are demanding new solutions.

About 30 villagers on May 12 handed a letter of complaint to Mayor Somphol Roengsamut at the Koh Yao Noi Municipality offices.

The group said waste management had been a problem for years on the island.

Leading the group, Koh Yao Tourism Business Committee President Soonthorn Sagulsan said, “Having landfills for dumping waste is not a permanent solution.”

Citing the example of Phuket, the residents are convinced that an incinerator is their best solution. However, unlike in Phuket, where the incinerator is located near the homes, school and workplaces of many people, none of the Koh Yao Noi villagers want to be near it.

The island’s two landfills – one behind the Koh Yao District Office on the west side of the island, the other in a mangrove forest named Klong Lo Moon on the east side – were ordered shut down earlier this month.

Many residents believe the closures were the result of the overwhelming stench they emitted, coupled with the considerable fees charged to dump there.

“Koh Yao Noi Municipality sent us a letter informing us of the closure of the entrance to the landfill behind the District Office, but they didn’t cite a reason for it,” said Nisanat Tintalae, the municipality’s chief administrative officer.

“Koh Yao Noi Municipality told us they couldn’t handle the smell and the waste disposal fees were too high,” said Mr Soonthorn.

“Five years ago Koh Yao Noi was awarded a budget of 60 million baht under a Royal Patronage project by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to implement a permanent waste management solution… but nothing has ever been done,” he said.

Frenchman George Cortaz, 51, is director of Koyao Bay Pavilions. An 11-year resident of the island, he said, “For the past three to four years, the smell has become more and more of a problem. I wish the government would do something about it. When the tide is high, it sucks waste down to the water.

“Koh Yao Noi is well known, with a reputation for eco-tourism, but this problem is ruining it,” he noted.

Mr Soonthorn said a local degradation in water quality related to the landfill had affected the local community, most of which relies of fishing as the primary occupation.

“Besides this, water in the area causes people to itch upon contact,” he complained.

Mayor Somphol explained to the villagers in the meeting room that the municipality has been trying to solve the problem – thus far without success.

After surveying seven potential sites to build an incinerator, five in Village 6 and two in Village 7, they could not reach a consensus, he explained.

“Villagers there refused to have an incinerator built on their land, claiming they were not well informed,” he said.

“They misunderstood, thinking the incinerator would cause a bad stench like the landfill behind District Office,” he added.

Despite this, the municipality was scheduled to meet again to discuss the possibility of having a “temporary incinerator” built behind the district office, he said.

The incinerator under consideration would cost about two million baht and have the capacity to burn a tonne of rubbish per day, he said.

“However, it would take up to two months to get the incinerator ready for operation,” he noted.

“In the meantime, I will chair a meeting with the municipal council and seek to allow villagers to resume disposing of their waste behind Koh Yao District Office,” the Mayor added.

In regards to the royally-endorsed project, it was canceled after two years because the municipality was unsuccessful in its attempts to acquire suitable land, he said.

To build a permanent incinerator, the municipality needs two rai, he explained.

“…So if anyone has the land, we would be delighted to accept offers for consideration,” he said in closing the meeting.

Mr Soonthorn said the villagers wanted the board meeting to be an open one in order to ensure transparency.

“We are satisfied. The mayor has informed us the board will be meeting to solve the problem. The most important thing is that we are allowed to attend the meeting so we can be fully informed about the decision-making process,” he said.

— Chutarat Plerin

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Drugs19 mins ago

Drug smuggler caught in Kalasin with 300 kg of marijuana

Politics1 hour ago

Amendment to reform Constitution rejected by Parliament

Medical2 hours ago

Gender Health Clinic opens in Bangkok for transgender needs

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

30 million baht added to vaccine side effects compensation fund

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Plan for 16-week gap between AstraZeneca vaccines dropped

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

CCSA: 120 day reopening will proceed with conditions

Tourism8 hours ago

Sandbox latest, CCSA says all regions reopening must reach 70% local vaccination

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,667 new infections and 32 deaths

Politics11 hours ago

Thamanat elected to role of head ‘fixer’ in Palang Pracharat party

Expats20 hours ago

List: China has over 50% of all foreign-owned condos in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Thailand1 day ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Drugs1 day ago

1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine and heroin seized near Malaysian border

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending