Koh Samui – Utilities Not Ready For Tourism Growth

Koh Samui keeps getting more and more popular, and there is no end in sight to the establishment of more luxury resorts and hotels.

And while this is great for working in the Koh Samui travel industry, it’s also a challenge for the government to keep up.

They need to develop a more environmental friendly and sustainable waste management system, and even things like water and electricity supply need to be improved. They are also investing in improving the roads on the island.

The proclaimed goal of government officials is to make it a “green island”, but there is a lot (a very lot) of work that needs to be done before this can be realized.

Here are some of the projects that are either already happening or will happen soon, according to this TTRWeekly article:

 The municipality is working on road repairs including installing a waste water system along a 17 km stretch of road. There are 52 km of roads on the island that need repair and the budget allocated for this task is Bt450 million. The first phase is due to completed by September next year. The last two phases of road improvements are pending a budget allocation.

• Water supply comes from two sources – lakes and transforming sea water to fresh water, but there is still a shortage. The municipality is now improving Chaweng Lake and installing a more efficient wastewater treatment at the lake to improve the quality of the water. Also, officials are proposing to buy land plots in front of Na Mueang Lake to build a reservoir.

• Electricity shortage should be solved once a new power plant station on Mae Nam Beach is ready to support the Taling Ngam Beach power plant. The project will cost around Bt3 billion including electricity cables from the mainland to supplement three other cables and the island’s power plant. The project is due to completed by the second quarter of next year.

“We have enough rainfall each year, but we don’t have enough reservoirs to store the water. Also the quality of the water needs to be improved,” he said.

Currently, there are two water supply facilities that turn seawater to fresh water on the island – one is owned by East Water Company and another by the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority. Samui has three lakes; Krachud Lake, Na Mueang Lake and Chaweng Lake. They are all used for water supply.

On the waste management front, Mr Ramnate recognised Samui has been in hot water over waste problems for many years. So the focus now is on the following:

• There is a plan to add waste water treatment plants in three areas; Mae Nam Beach, Hua Thanon and Bo Phut. However, the project will cost Bt1 billion and needs government approval and support;

• Garbage management will concentrate on the use of incinerators to burn garbage. There are plans to separate garbage that can be recycled. The aim is to make the island a green destination.


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