Sick of waiting for city action, Pattaya Beach vendors take own flood-control steps

Friday, 18 October 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 42 By  Warunya Thongrod

Pattaya beach chair vendors are sick of waiting for city officials to solve Pattaya’s flooding problem and have begun blocking off the beach themselves to prevent erosion.

Sandbags line the sidewalk on Beach Road from Mike Shopping Mall to the Dusit Curve in hopes of blocking street flooding from flowing onto the sand and gouging deep holes where the vendors make their livings.

Beach bench operators have lined the beach side of the promenade with sandbags in an attempt to keep their businesses from washing away.Beach bench operators have lined the beach side of the promenade with sandbags in an attempt to keep their businesses from washing away.

While understandable, the appropriation of public property is illegal. It’s also short-sighted in a couple of ways. For starters, vendors left gaps in the sandbags to let tourists cross, but also lets water through. Second, the sandbags block the natural route for flood water to return to the sea and only worsen flood damage for those on the other side of the sandbags.

Some vendors, however, don’t seem to care.

“The sandbags you see along the entire length of the beach are not from city hall, but the beach chair vendors who cannot stand seeing their retail area become so eroded that they cannot open for business,” said central Pattaya beach chair vendor Jaew Changmai. “We found a way to protect ourselves because we told city hall that it has taken too long for anything to be done.”

“We have to eat,” Jaew continued. “We don’t want to do this because it’s not a pretty sight. I hope Pattaya will find a way to solve the problem, otherwise water will continue eroding the beach.”

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