WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2024
nationthailand

Phi Phi Island’s twin woes – not enough water, too much marijuana

Phi Phi Island’s twin woes – not enough water, too much marijuana

The much-visited Phi Phi Island in Krabi province is drowning in multiple crises. There is a severe shortage of fresh water for consumption. And outlets selling marijuana are on the rise.

Businessmen are urging the government to allocate funds for setting up a freshwater production plant and also take steps to control the open sale of marijuana.

Pisan Trangkasombat, the managing partner of P.P. Bayview Resort, spoke about the economic challenges and obstacles affecting tourism on Phi Phi Island, Krabi province.

The island is facing a shortage of fresh water for both domestic use and consumption purposes during the dry season.

He said the price of freshwater is expected to be high, ranging from 150 to 300 baht per cubic meter. The water is sourced from natural wells and artesian wells.

Pisan said the water crisis had reached beyond the capacity of private enterprises to address independently. The government may need to allocate a budget to secure freshwater sources or consider installing desalination plants to source seawater. He said these were matters that required national-level policies by the government to effectively tackle the problem. He cited as an example the successful initiative in the past to lay underwater power cables from the mainland to supply electricity to Koh Phi Phi.

Phi Phi Island’s twin woes – not enough water, too much marijuana

Local politicians and members of Parliament from the Krabi area were aware of the pressing issue of freshwater scarcity on Phi Phi Island and acknowledged that there was a crisis, he said.

Natthi Adisaralak, the president of the Chamber of Commerce in Krabi province, revealed that proposals had been made during joint public-private sector meetings to address the economic challenges of the province. The aim is to involve government agencies in finding solutions to these issues, he said.

He said a proposed solution for the initial problem was the production of drinking water using water filtration systems. Currently, Koh Phi Phi purchases freshwater for consumption on the island, but the supply remains insufficient. A study was conducted recently to assess the impact of this issue, with the Department of Water Resources working to address the problem for tourism destinations on Koh Phi Phi. The department is in the process of designing a project for a freshwater supply system on the island.

Phi Phi Island’s twin woes – not enough water, too much marijuana

Pisan said the social issue that may impact the image and confidence of large groups of tourists is the open and extensive availability of marijuana. Some tourists, upon arriving in Thailand, may freely engage in the consumption or use of marijuana, even though it may not be illegal. However, on the flip side, this could have negative consequences for other groups of tourists who would not want their children, particularly teenagers, to come to Thailand.

He urged the government to expedite issuing regulations on marijuana use. It should not be freely available, and public authorities should enforce strict regulations or laws to prevent unrestricted sales as seen currently, he said. Instead, there should be designated areas for marijuana use, prohibiting sales in public spaces along the roadside and tourist areas, he suggested.

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