Isan NGO urges state agencies to treat contaminated water

A civil society group in northeastern Thailand urged the relevant authorities to come up with solutions to improve the water quality of a tributary of the Mekong River, saying that incompetent civil servants should be replaced if they cannot solve the problem.

The Assembly of the Poor (AOP), a civil society organisation which is the voice of marginalised communities in Thailand, on Thursday issued a statement to urge relevant public agencies in the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani to come up with immediate solutions to improve the water quality of the Nam Dom Yai River, a tributary of the Mekong River.

According to the statement, the water in the Nam Dom Yai River has been heavily contaminated for the last three months due to the leakage of contaminated water from the water treatment plant of Ubon Kaset Palangngan Company.

In the statement, the AOP demanded that incompetent civil servants from relevant agencies in the province, such as Regional Environment Office 12 in Ubon Ratchathani, the Ubon Ratchathani Industrial Office, and the Provincial Royal Irrigation Department Office should be replaced for ignoring the problem.

The company responsible for the leakage of contaminated water should halt production and the provincial administration should form a committee in order to investigate the problem and seek solutions, added the AOP.

Last month, the AOP called on the Governor of Ubon Ratchathani Province to open the gates of the Pak Mun Dam, a controversial hydroelectric dam, in order to allow fish species to swim up river during the breeding season.

The Governor, however, refused to comply with the group’s demand, saying that the province might risk drought if the water in the dam is released into the Mun River due to the scarcity of rain in the region.