A complete explanation of the situation that led to untreated waste waters flowing into and polluting the sea at Kata and Karon beaches during March was given today to Ralf Benko, host of the highly popular German TV travel show “Wir Retten Ihren Urlaub!” (“We Save Your Vacation!”). The presentation, given by environmental engineer Siripong Pasari of Southern Thai Consulting Co. Ltd., was a full reiteration of what was said to Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha during his visit on the 30th of May and also revealed how the new power scheme will ensure generators will be in place to function during blackouts. The plans for building new facilities to handle surplus loads during heavy showers were also presented.
Mr. Benko declared himself satisfied with the outcome of his crew’s actions, stating that “while the solution is not perfect, everyone should be realistic and understand that such a problem cannot be solved within a few weeks or months. However, it is important for everyone to be aware of the issue and it is satisfying to see that action is taken to resolve it. Tourist safety is what should have priority here and every tourist should be informed of potential hazards before going into the water, in order to avoid anyone suffering from bacterial infestations.”
The German TV show host also talked about a similar case in Turkey, where the effects, however, were “very serious, with half of a hotel’s guests requiring hospitalization. The effects were seen on the entire region’s tourism, making it a very serious problem. It is vital to begin taking action before the situation becomes that bleak and to prevent such developments. Placing warning signs, letting people know about the issue when they check into their hotels and having tour operators inform everyone of such problems are just a few steps in increasing awareness on the matter. Tourists should be warned to stay away from the areas where waste waters overflow from the pump house.”
Mr. Benko also brought along yesterday a biohazard sign which he offered to Phuket authorities and which was placed to the hatch of the overflow outlet, from where overflowing untreated waste waters are pumped into the sand and sea, at the Kata Beach pump house.
“European regulations say that beaches with waste water outlets need to be closed immediately, but that is infeasible here, as it would leave tourists with no place to go. Our role is to bring tourist information to officials, who then need to take on the task of solving any issues. Our only part in this is to communicate problems”, Mr. Benko added.
The initial footage captured by the German TV crew in March and showing untreated waste waters polluting the Kata and Karon beaches was initially scheduled for broadcast in May, according to Mr. Benko, but the date was postponed by the producers in order to wait for the response of Phuket’s authorities. Now, the latest visit will also be included in the broadcast, which has been rescheduled for July, in order to show the action Phuket officials have started taking in order to resolve the issue.