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Lurking behind the Koh Samui Provincial prison lies the shame of Koh Samui – over 200,000 tons of stinking, rotting garbage.
In March 2015 the Koh Samui City department announced that it had no available budget to take care of the garbage that is fast becoming a public health issue. During a TV interview the major Mr. Ramnet Jaikwang said that the city municipality budget could take care of trash on a daily basis but had nothing in reserve to deal with the reserve that has banked up over the last eight years. He went on to request the national government to allow supplementary budget to fix the problem. In April, Surat Thani Governor Mr.Chatpong Chatraphuti, along with the government sectors went to inspect the area after Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha commanded the governor to take care of the problem.
Six months on and the incinerator still out of action the mountains of rubbish are no closer to being dealt. The rubbish and waste are now seeping into ponds and rivers making them contaminated and toxic. The buildings at the garbage control unit are abandoned, the windows have been smashed, the staff are long gone and all that remains is a stinking, toxic derelict site despite Major Ramnate Jaikwang being issued an ultimatum from the Governor of Surat Thani some months ago and the army to bring in new contractors to deal with Samui’s garbage crisis, and fix the incinerator that was out of order at the beginning of his term in 2008.
With no end in sight and concerns for not only the health of the inmates in the nearby prison but for the general population of Samui a handful of ex-pats have decided to take matters into their own hands and are now calling for other concerned members of the Koh Samui community to join them in finding solutions to the mounting problem. Poorly managed landfills can cause a number of issues such as pollution of the local environment, contamination of groundwater and the decaying organic waste causing an excess of methane – a potent greenhouse gas that poses problems due to its flammability. The rats and flies around the Samui landfill site now pose a real danger of causing infectious diseases that could be catastrophic for the island and for tourism.
Anybody interested in forming an action group should email firstname.lastname@example.org the new group will be very interested to hear from anybody who can offer time, solutions, donations, technical expertise or liaise with local and national governments.