Jurin promises more homes for Phuket sea gypsies

PHUKET: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit yesterday (Apr 29) vowed to provide more housing for sea gypsies in Phuket and other Andaman provinces.

The promise came during a visit to the Moken sea gypsy village in Mai Khao, where Mr Jurin said the government’s goal was to enhance the quality of life among the region’s native inhabitants by providing “Stable Houses – Sufficiency Homes”.

The goal is to provide 26,164 houses for sea gypsies in the Andaman region within the next five years, Mr Jurin said.

Mr Jurin said that the ongoing project to provide homes to indigenous peoples nationwide had seen 120,000 houses provided in the past 10 years. The overall goal is to provide 1 million houses, he added.

Only in the six Andaman provinces of Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun have specific goals set for the number of homes to be provided in the next five years, he added.

The breakdown by province was: Ranong 2,376 houses, Phang Nga 4,930 houses, Phuket 2,241 houses, Krabi 6,260 houses, Trang 5,470 houses and Satun 4887 houses.

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“A total of 17,000 houses were built nationwide in 2020, and a further 24,000 houses in 2021. This year a further 27,000 houses will be built, giving a total of 68,000 houses provided over three years,” he said.

“We’re here to help solve the problems of those of us who don’t have a home, don’t own land or rent a dilapidated house. 

“The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and the Community Organizations Development Institute [CODI] will help to make roads and provide electricity and water supply and other utilities to such areas, and help secure loans for houses so that the home will finally belong to our brothers and sisters. They will be able to live on [designated] state land without being prosecuted, resulting in a better quality of life,” Mr Jurin said.

Mr Jurin noted that the programme to provide housing to poor indigenous people was initially instigated in 1997 under the Democrat government of Chuan Leekpai during his second term as prime minister. Mr Jurin is currently serving as the leader of the Democrat Party.

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