Phi Phi Island
Drought hits paradise island
The severe drought is threatening to quickly spread over many parts of the country, with water on the world-renowned tourist getaway of Phi Phi Island set to run out as early as this month.
"Here, rain has not fallen for more than one month already," Weerapat Jantaro, chairman of the Phi Phi Island Tourism Operator Club, said Thursday.
The operators are getting ready to buy water from mainland Phuket for Bt250Bt300 per cubic metre to prevent disruption to their business.
Some 2.5 million visitors arrive on Phi Phi, a part of Krabi, every day, with many staying the night.
Phankham Kittitornkun, chairman of the Ao Nang Tambon Administration Organisation, said that although the privately owned reservoir on the island still contained some water, it would likely dry up by the end of the month.
"So when April arrives, tourism operators on the island will have to order water from Phuket. Besides paying for the water, they will have to pay for transportation too, which is even more costly," he said.
Bottled water on Phi Phi would be a few times more expensive that on the mainland.
The Irrigation Department has warned farmers around the Chao Phraya River basin not to plant a second rice crop this season.
"Otherwise, rice in the paddies may later suffer from the shortage of water," it said.