Communities in Bang Chan found a suitable plan to solve a drinking water problem after they have been struggling to get fresh water for several years. This is part of the climate change adaptation of local communities as a result of Promoting Local Innovations Workshop in Chanthaburi Province, Thailand on 21-23 October 2011.
Bang Chan sub-district, one of the target site in Chanthaburi Province, Thailand, is located in the mangrove forests near the river mouth of Thai gulf. There are about 3,800 households in 6 different communities. The only way to access to the villages is by boat because there is no road to the villages. "Based on the discussion with the community during the vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) earlier in September, one of the main major issues is fresh water and drinking water supply. Because the villages does not have easy access to mainland, two water sources they are using is rain water and by buying expensive water from the boat who brought water from the mainland, " said Jonathan Shott, the Project Manager of Sustainable Development Foundation, IUCN's partner. Each family has been spending 100-160 Thai baht (USD 3-5) per one water tank which can be used for only a few days. Jonathan further explained, "Under climate change scenario, the dry season will become longer and hotter and dryer. People in the villages will need even more water in the future".
Promotions of Location Innovations (PLI) for climate change adaptation is a three-day workshop aims to engage local community to take actions for climate change adaptation. It is initiated by Centre of Development and Environment, the University of Bern and was adapted to fit the local climate change context by Mangroves for the Future Initiative.
During the three days, participants were asked to do many activities. The first day started with the analysis of drinking water problem. In the afternoon, participants discussed about their vision and brainstormed on possible solutions in order to come from their vision to local innovations. Then on the second day, they were gathering more information on the innovations they chose. One group went to a field trip to collect data on pipe water system from a village that has successfully established their own water management. The rest of participants attended a market place where they could get information from the experts regarding the different aspects of the innovations. On the last day, participants developed an action plan which clearly defined what are the actions that need to be done, who are the responsible person for it, what resources are needed, and what is the timeline for each activity in the action plan.
When villagers examine a few solutions in details, there are three solutions that could be possible: harvesting sufficient rain water, setting up deep wells for ground water aquifers, and a small scale desalination. They planned to work more on finding sufficient facilities to collect enough rain water and to explore the possibility of ground water and pipe water system in the area. Pailin Olarnpaiboon, the head of one village said "After finished the workshop, we have a plan to work together on solving a problem of water. I think we have a suitable plan to do it. I think we will further develop this plan and successfully follow the steps we have set in this action plan."
For more information about PLI, contact Andrea Roth, Programme Assistant, Mangrove for the Future, IUCN