Volunteers to tackle sewage, litter in Phuket Town canal

PHUKET: A joint campaign by Royal Thai Volunteers and the Rak Bang Yai Club will aim to clear weeds, litter and other debris from the Bang Yai Canal, which runs through the heart of Phuket Town, so that foul smells emanating from sewage in the canal will dissipate.

The joint campaign was announced at the new Phuket Provincial Hall today (Feb 11) during a video teleconference with Admiral Pavit Rujithes, Director of the Royal Thai Initiative Volunteer organisation, operated under the Royal Office.

Also present were Kanungnit Ketkaew, Director of the Phuket branch of the Office of the Non-Formal and Informal Education (ONIE), and Teerayut Naweekarn, President of Rak Bang Yai Club.

At the meeting today, Mr Teerayut explained that efforts by the Rak Bang Yai Club to clear the canal had been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We used to hold an activity every week, but due to the COVID-19 situation it is now only once per month,” he said.

The club’s goal is to sustainably solve problems of flooding and drought, he said.

Mr Teerayut avoided saying that the issues only arose through lack of care and attention given to the maintenance of the canal.

The Rak Bang Yai Club will hold its next canal clearing on Feb 20, he added.

“Phase 1 [of the activity] is to eliminate weeds along the dam and canal walls. It will start from the bridge in front of Satree Phuket School and continue to Queen Sirikit Park,” he explained.

“The second phase will start from Queen Sirikit Park and continue to the tip of Saphan Hin,” he added.

“A total distance of three kilometres,” he noted.

“Bang Yai Canal is the main canal that flows through Phuket. The origin of the water is from Kathu and the canal flows through Phuket City and flows into the sea,” Mr Teerayut explained.

C and C Marine

“Bang Yai Canal is useful as a source of fresh water for consumption [further upstream], trapping aquatic animals and helping to drain rainwater into the sea during the rainy season,” he said.

“Now, Bang Yai Canal has a problem of sewage, littering and waste causing foul odours,” Mr Teerayut said.

“There are weeds that cover the waterways along both sides of the canal, especially the area that flows through the community in Phuket Town,” he said.

“Therefore, I will lead volunteers to develop Bang Yai Canal to create cleanliness and beauty,” he added.

Adm Pavit praised the efforts.

“I would like to see the participation of the people to take action together with [Royal Thai] Volunteer work. With support from the government, this will make the work sustainable,” he said.

“The development and restoration of Bang Yai Canal initiated by the Rak Bang Yai Club and continuing to operate is considered as a model for other provinces,” Adm Pavit said.

“The benefits that people will receive by reviving the Bang Yai Canal is tourism and foreigners and local people can learn about the local culture and see the activities of the community, because Bang Yai Canal is rich and diverse in culture,” he added.

“I think that it is worth supporting. I want Phuket to be a place of sustainable development, a useful place,” Adm Pavit noted.

“I would like to thank the Phuket Governor for setting up a team of [Royal Thai] Volunteers working together with Phuket people taking part [in the campaign]. I want Phuket people to continue taking care of this place,” he said.

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