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World Environment Day or ‘WED’ is celebrated every year on June 5th to raise global awareness for all to take positive environmental action to protect our nature and planet Earth. The 2014 theme for World Environment Day is ‘Small Islands & Climate Change’, with the official slogan being ‘Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level”
The dry season on Koh Samui is increasingly becoming an issue due a shortage of fresh water resources. The main reason for the shortage is the population increase caused by the rapid growth and expansion of tourism on the island. The watershed areas are overused and can’t hold the water as usual. Conversely during the rainy season, Koh Samui faces drainage and sudden water flow problems, which are a catalyst for severe soil erosion and landslides caused by flood water runoff. This has also destroyed houses and property of the island residents.
Amari Palm Reef and OZO Chaweng Samui realize the importance of sustaining the local environment, and has joined hands with the Koh Samui Watershed Management Unit and Green Island Foundation Thailand (GIFT) to connect with the local area and assist with the “Check Dam” project.
15 Team members of Amari Palm Reef and OZO Chaweng Samui drove up steep mountain roads to the top of Kao Pom, where they were welcomed by Khun Methee Boonsook, head of Koh Samui Watershed Management Unit, and told about the project and its importance to the local area. Under his instruction, the team gathered rocks from the riverbed and piled them up level by level with concrete to create a dam.
This “Check Dam” will help to slow the flow of water and reduce the severity of tidal streams. It will also increase the chances of water seeping into the groundwater supply, adding moisture to the land and reducing the severity of the erosion of soil. Another advantage is the storage of sediment or rock debris that flows down to the water in the watershed, plus storing water on high land for consumption for agriculture and the tourism sector.