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Bangkok official  Prompong Nopparit checks Phuket's Bang Tao canal today

Phuket LIVE Government Will Make All Phuket Canals Clean, Bangkok Promises

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Today's LIVE Phuketwan Update

PHUKET: In a breakthrough for environmental protection, a national government spokesperson said today that Phuket's polluted canals must be made pure for the sake of Thailand's tourism industry.

The Pheu Thai party's Prompong Nopparit said: ''We want Phuket to be a role model for all kinds of international standards.

''There have been many complaints from tourists about the quality of the water in Phuket's canals. We know that pollution damages the beaches and coral reefs and kills marine life.

''If these problems are not fixed, Phuket will lose its tourism industry.'' Phuket, he said, was ''the window for the country.''

Phuketwan understands some misguided officials would prefer to suppress data that proves Phuket has pollution problems at some of its most famous beaches.

Khun Prompong's message today is clear to those officials who believe in secrecy. The government's message: fix the pollution. A coverup won't work.

Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosutthirak told the meeting at Cherng Talay council offices: ''The latest problems with pollution are not just at Bang Tao's canal, but at canals all across Phuket.''

The meeting followed an official tour upstream at the Bang Tao canal, where at the weekend Phuketwan photojournalists revealed a black murky streak stretching for more than a kilometre along the famous beach.

Local residents say pollution from the canal begins with hotels or restaurants and has caused some of them to fall sick. They have decided not to continue with the conspiracy of silence.

Hiding the issue means it will grow with time and eventually kill Phuket tourism.

While the problem is plain, Phuket remains an appealing destination - provided tourists steer clear of the polluted canals.

Vice Governor Somkiet said that Phuket Governor Maitree Intusut had inspected more pollution at Phuket City's main canal yesterday while the vice governor had looked at the notorious Patong canal.

Virtually all of Phuket's canals are polluted, Phuketwan can report, although the levels of bacteria in them have never been publicly revealed.

The ones that pose an immediate risk to residents and tourists are those on Phuket's popular west coast, extending from Mai Khao in the north to Nai Harn in the south, including the beaches at Surin, Kamala, Patong, Karon and Kata.

Spokesman Khun Prompong said today that he had seen enough to know that reports by the media at the weekend about Bang Tao's pollution problem - including Phuketwan's powerful photos - were accurate, and that it was time for government action.

He said he would begin urgent talks with environmental officials as soon as he returned to Bangkok.

Phuketwan has called for the perpetrators of the pollution to be imprisoned and fined. Enforcement and education are essential.

Today's First LIVE Report

PHUKET: Governing Pheu Thai party spokesman Prompong Nopparit led officials on a hunt up a canal today for the source of the pollution that has blackened Bang Tao beach and Phuket's reputation.

One resident, Willi Tiegelkamp, who lives near Willi Bridge, told Phuketwan that the canal had been on the nose from bad pollution for three years.

''At times it's awful,'' he said. ''Really, people should not use a public waterway to dispose of their waste.''

Residents of Bang Tao have taken their complaints about the Bang Tao canal public following a weekend when a murky strip of ''black'' water extended more than a kilometre along the famous beach.

Virtually every canal on Phuket is polluted, according to experts who prefer to remain anonymous at this stage. Residents in Bang Tao and around the main canal that drains through Phuket City have decided it's time to speak out.

Hotels and restaurants are probably to blame for the pollution in Bang Tao, according to locals. Some have been made sick by the bad water.

Other canals at Kata, Patong and Karon are also said to stink because of their contents, said to sometimes include human excrement.

With Khun Prompong today were Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosutthirak, Cherng Talay Mayor Ma-Ann Somran and local officials and residents.

The group went to a meeting at Cherng Talay council offices that began about 10.40am.

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Prompong Nopparit said: ''We want Phuket to be a role model for all kinds of international standards "

He sure has his work cut out because as of now Phuket is more or less the exact opposite.

A showcase example of how to ignore and disregard all international standards and only care about making a quick profit.

A case study in how corruption destroys every facet of business, life and nature.

Mai Pen Rai is a great attitude while on holiday but you can't run a province with a mindset like that, let alone the whole country.

I sincerely hope you will succeed K. Nopparit. Phuket desperately needs firm action from BKK.

Posted by Stephen on April 23, 2013 12:27

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The canal behind Ao Chalong Villa & Spa is poluated since longtime and the canal at Chalong Bay Pier is more than poluated.
Unfortunately in Thailand it is nearly impossible to set up associations able to sue in court wrongdoers as it is done in Europe.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on April 23, 2013 12:47

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Looking forward to hear about the actual plan on how to avoid polluting the canals and how to clean them up. I am not surprised that Khun Prompong expresses that this problem must be solved, but from there until a detailed plan is made and resources made available that is a big step, and that could easily take years. Much better if the local stakeholders took action instead of waiting for Bangkok.

Posted by Sailor on April 23, 2013 15:16

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Ed, why has my article not been printed, he should say he wants to preserve Phuket's beauty not be so worried about money from tourists which is the only reason he is here.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on April 23, 2013 16:27

Editor Comment:

Your comment has not been published because I am weary of your constant efforts to achieve a reaction. If you have something constructive to add, do so. Provoking arguments for the sake of arguing is easy. You are as boring in this identity as you have been in previous ones.

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forget about bangkok. there will only be change if the local business community together with the local government will take care of it. what we need is just one local highly respected figure who will lead the entire operation. the others will follow then. 100%.

Posted by Joss on April 23, 2013 16:30

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Some of my comments I agree are to cause a reaction but surely you agree that is the point of some news.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on April 23, 2013 16:43

Editor Comment:

If you have nothing to add except an argument, don't bother. None of us have the time. If you genuinely have nothing to add, don't.

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Well nobody else wrote it, so I will..... I'll believe it when I see it!! A task force to clean up the island, I hope so, the filth is the reason I don't live there anymore, love to come back though, and hope to.

Posted by Simon on April 23, 2013 17:05


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