Friday, March 7, 2014

A little slum at Bangkoks east

Most people have heard about Klong Thoei, a slum in the heart of Bangkok. But this isn't the only one. Doing some research for a documentary I went to the On Nut Waste Plant community. Right behind the recycling facility is a slum where many of the factory workers live.

Waste plant slum

Wikipedia defines a slum as "A slum is a heavily populated urban informal settlement characterized by substandard housing and squalor.[1] While slums differ in size and other characteristics from country to country, most lack reliable sanitation services, supply of clean water, reliable electricity, timely law enforcement and other basic services."

The area I visited is indeed quite populated, although I couldn't get any numbers. Houses are for sure substandard, but some are actually not too bad, made of wood or even bricks. Sanitation seems to be an issue, guessing from the sewage that flows underneath the houses. Regarding clean water, there seems to be at least a water supply, and I saw in one house a filtration system installed.

Waste plant slum

I was there for about an hour, and while it is a very packed area with narrow footpaths between houses, it is cleaner than expected. We did talk to some people and were told that the land belongs to some muslim owners who charge a few hundred baht rent for the land they build there houses on. We didn't get much more into details since this will be the content of a documentary we want to make there.