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Wastewater could lead to shutdown of Karon hotels

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The president of the Karon Hotels Association agreed on Wednesday that hotels should be shut down for releasing untreated wastewater into the beach town’s canal.

Angkana Tanetvisetkul voiced her support for drastic action at a public meeting led by Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut aimed at improving the wastewater and garbage problems in Karon.

The meeting was held to address issues in preparation for the Asian Beach Games, which will be held in Karon in November (story here).

“I fully support closing hotels that release wastewater into the canal without treating it,” Ms Angkana said.

“However, I’d like to say that it is unfair to blame all hotels in Karon. Most of us have our own wastewater treatment systems.

“And please keep in mind that we are the group of people directly affected by this type of bad press. We play a big part in attracting tourists to Karon by advertising internationally.

“I think it’s time for everyone to help solve this problem and restore Karon’s good image.”

Governor Maitri explained the steps that have already been taken to correct the problem of polluted water flowing across Karon Beach, which first occurred this year on February 24 (story here) and was subsequently shown to be connected to the city’s inadequate wastewater treatment system (story here).

“We’ve already made some short term solutions,” the governor said. “We’ve dredged the Nong Harn Canal and installed a net to trap garbage so it doesn’t reach the sea.

“We have set up sand bags in a stair shape in the same location to slow the flow of water, allowing sediment to settle and not go into the sea, and we dug an emergency treatment pond to contain water that sometimes overflows from the pumping station nearest the sea.”

Long-term solutions have been left up to the Wastewater Management Authority of Thailand (WMA), as Karon Municipality officers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the WMA to take over management of wastewater on March 13 (story here).

Gov Maitri reminded the group of 200 residents and officers that a healthy environment was important for attracting tourists to the area, and asked for their help in making sure Karon would be ready for the Asian Beach Games.

The director of Karon’s Wat Suwankeereekate School said that a cleaner environment could be achieved by encouraging healthy habits in children, and took the opportunity to ask for more teachers.

“We can help solve this problem by starting with children – they should be taught that public cleanliness is very important,” Yuphayao Alshammary said.

“But here in Karon, I think government offices don’t see the importance of schools. We do not have enough teachers to look after the children’s education.

“We need at least three more teachers to look after a total of 150 students. I dream of having more teachers to work with the kids and teach them to collect at least five pieces of garbage daily. That could add up to more than 20,000 pieces a month.”

— Saran Mitrarat

 

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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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