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Sugar palms to revive Phuket’s Laem Phromthep



PHUKET: Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop on Saturday led a group of Phuket VIPs in a tree-planting ceremony aimed at increasing the number of palm trees on Phuket’s iconic Phromthep Cape.

Accompanying Governor Wichai was his wife Taisika, Phuket MPs Tossaporn Thepabutr and Rewat Areerob, Phuket Senator Thanyarat Achariyachai and Anchalee Vanich-Thepabutr, Deputy Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Local officials included Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos and Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pekad Tantipong, who together led villagers from Rawai, Cherng Talay and Kamala in planting 46 sugar palm saplings and 200 sugar palm seeds.

The saplings, each about two meters tall, were provided by the Pattaya adventure park Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, while the sugar palm seeds were provided by Rawai Elders Club.

Governor Wichai said sugar palm trees have been recognized for centuries as the icons of Phromthep Cape.

The cape today is one of Phuket’s top tourist attractions, especially at dusk when people gather there to view sunsets over the western horizon.

However, the number of the trees on the popular peninsula has started to decline.

The trees are dying from old age, changes in weather patterns and fire damage, Gov Wichai said.

The newly-planted trees and seedlings will be watered through a system of PVC pipes installed under the ground. The amount of water needed is large, working out to about 30 liters per tree daily, he said.

A team of specialists has been contracted to ensure the project is a long-term success.

“We also plan to plant other types of trees [here] next year,” said Mayor Aroon.

— Janpen Upatising


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