The Royal Thai Army delivered truckloads of water from 9am until 9pm as thankful residents collected the water with any container they could find, including old paint containers and ice boxes.
The Phuket News reporter watched as residents of Soi 2 King Kaew gratefully received the water after being left without an adequate supply of mains water since March 21.
Kanittan Chansombet, a labourer who lives within the community with her family, turned up with a plastic container in a sidecar. She told The Phuket News, “Until now, we always had to stay awake at night checking if the mains water supply was running in order to collect as much as possible before it was cut off again as we never know when there will be water available.
“My family had to spend B3,000 on water over the past month. We had no other choice,” she said. “I heard from my neighbours that they had to spend B300-400 per time to fill their water containers.”
“We were made aware of the army’s intentions by Khao Phuket and other sites. When I found out the army had arrived, I rushed over, so happy to be able to have water for many days,” she said happily.
The gratitude and relief on the faces of the community were clearly evident as they repeatedly thanked the army personnel who helped fill containers and carry them to homes and sidecars.
Ms Kanittan performed a ‘wai’ and said, “I want to say thank you very much to the army for helping us here.”
The army’s involvement came after about 80 residents from Rassada staged a protest in front of Phuket Provincial Hall on Tuesday (Apr 23) over the lack of water supply to their community. (See story here.)
The residents massed in front of Phuket Provincial Hall at 3pm, shouting anti-Governor slogans and carrying placards heavily criticising the lack of action by officials to solve the water shortage situation.
The protestors were all from the Ua Arthorn (“Mercy for others”) housing estate in Baan Kuku, Rassada. The housing estate was built by the National Housing Authority specifically for low-income earners.
Elsewhere on the island, two private companies have offered to give out free water to residents from their own private reservoirs.
Thanyarat Achariyachai, an Executive at Kata Group, said, “At present we have plenty of water because we have our own reservoir which we use to supply our hotels.
“We want to help people who are suffering from the water shortage. We have staff ready to help at the reservoir on Soi Na Yai near Chalong Temple. Anyone that needs water, please contact Mr Chai on 081-979-9989,” Ms Thanyarat said.
Sarun Khaminthong, a representative of Nonthasak Marine Co Ltd, told The Phuket News, “Local residents in Rawai who are in need of water can contact Rawai Municipality who will distribute water to them from our reservoir.
“To do so, please call the municipality on 076-613800,” Mr Sarun explained.
Wichit Municipality also announced six locations from which local residents can collect emergency water:
- Irwadee Yeetang Moo 6
- Soi Sao Kem 1,2 Moo 9
- Soi Boon Ban Dan Moo 7
- Than Tong Villa 5 Moo 1
- Aao Yon public Moo 8
- Muan Thong Suk Niral Moo 1
Local residents can turn up at any of the above locations with a container to fill with water.
The municipality also said that they would also deliver water to homes. Residents who require water to be delivered should call 076-525-100 and press 139 or call 076-525-199.