Despite repeated messages for local administrations to clean up their areas, and a mass employment campaign launched by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew to help clean up the island, the litter has been left on the ground while workers hired by Rawai Municipality rake up “unsightly” leaves.
The issue of cleaning up the island has been especially highlighted by provincial officials not just for the hope of attracting more much-needed tourists to the island, but also for Phuket’s bid to host the World Specialized Expo and to host APEC sideline meetings to be held in Phuket this year. The APEC meetings are to focus on Trade and Investment, Finance, Tourism, Agriculture, Women’s Affairs and MSME Promotion (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises).
One local resident who has lived in the area near the Nai harn beachfront for 10 years told The Phuket News, “Rawai Municipality has in recent years lifted their game in their attempts to clean up Nai Harn and its surrounds and they should be congratulated for that.
“However, it breaks your heart and defies belief when you see the cleaners spending hours, day in day out, raking leaves off the beach, footpaths and road when plastic bottles and rubbish remained untouched,” he said.
Road sweepers do make their way through the area each day, but only to sweep up leaves, not pick up litter, including plastic trays left discarded by the water at the lake or even trash left on the ground right beside a public garbage bin.
“I’m at a loss to understand the municipality’s logic to prioritise the sweeping of leaves off the footpath and road over the removal of plastic bottles and rubbish that not only detracts from the beauty of the place but invariably ends up in the ocean,” the local resident said.
“The municipality throws good resources at cleaning up the area but it is definitely neither effective nor productive when genuine rubbish is ignored. Perhaps an hour or two picking up the real rubbish wouldn’t go astray?” he noted.