The area is estimated to have accumulated more than 100 tonnes of trash
The trash problem at the village ‒ a recurring issue for more than 20 years ‒ gained Mr Atthaphon’s attention after a social media post highlighting the volume of trash to be dealt with gained national traction online.
Coinciding with Mr Atthaphon’s visit, Ratsada Mayor Nakarin Yosaengrat organised municipality workers to arrive in numbers to conduct a ‘Big Cleaning Day’ in Mr Atthaphon’s presence.
Despite most of the trash evidently being washed up by the tide, Mr Atthaphon thought it prudent to speak to the villagers about keeping their village clean. Most of the villagers are migrant Myanmar workers, pointed out a report of the visit by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).
Ratsada Municipality used to collect garbage from the site, but much of the waste in the village is from people dumping trash into sea water, the report admitted.
Regardless, the report said “:successfully solving [the problem] depends on the awareness of the residents as well.”
“In the past, the residents were unaware that wherever you throw away the trash, it causes the amount of waste to increase rapidly. After this, if they don’t help each other take care, the authorities will have to enforce the law,” the report said.
Ratsada Municipality will hire a private company to remove the trash from the village, the report added.
“The next phase of solving the problem is that there will be control over the residence of foreign workers, because they are living together in densely confined area,” the report concluded.
The report made no mention of bringing the issue to the attention of port authorities regulating Phuket’s commercial fishing fleet, which continually operates nearby on land and in the waters nearby, or other residents and commercial operations further upstream.