Hadsompaen Catch Dam Project – Thailand

Ban Hadsompaen, Muang District, Ranong Province, Thailand

Community Description
Hadsompaen Sub-District is located in Ranong Province in Thailand’s Southern Region near the coast of the Andaman Sea. The region is rich in bio-diversity and landscape including mountains, lush forests, and low ravines. Local villagers are accustomed to co-existing with nature and pursuing a livelihood in harmony with the local eco-system. In Hadsompaen, people make a living through tin, sand and clay mining, as well as, rubber and palm oil farming.

As indicated in local sub-district census information there are approximately 194 homes and 845 people living in the Hadsompaen Sub-district of Ranong’s Provincial Capital District that receives water for personal use through a system originating from a local mountain stream. From the stream, water is funneled into a water tower, (provided by the Sub-district Administrative Organization) and then sent to residents for consumption.

Each house pays a nominal fee to consume water, which is used to sustain the process of water distribution by covering the costs necessary to filter water through the tower and send it to individual homes.

The local Water User Group, consisting of several of the same individuals who receive the water, control and manage the water use funds. To ensure accountability, the group is supervised by the head councilman of the Hadsompaen Sub-District, Mr. Pattana Taepanich. Thus, the Water User Group functions like an employee-owned enterprise that currently benefits by keeping the clean water system intact.

Although this water source is reliable, it does not provide water to all homes in each village. Those who live farther away or cannot afford private household plumbing have to use another method such as collecting rainwater, which in many cases is not sufficient to last through the hot season. If rainwater is unavailable, others may need to pump groundwater, which requires the use of electricity or gas, which proves expensive.

These circumstances suggest that alternate sources combined with the mountain stream dam source are still inadequate to sustaining the demand for water year-round.

Shortages are evident during the increasingly lengthened hot season, especially due to a surge in the number of area homes and additional shortages of rainwater during the dry season.

To remedy the shortage, villagers from Hadsompaen Sub-District, with a small monetary contribution from Mineral Resources Development (MRD), a local clay mining company, have gathered together to build small catch dams, located in and around MRD’s property, every Father’s Day (December 5) for the last three years. Mr. Pattana Taepanich is responsible for the logistics, while the volunteers aid in gathering and transporting materials to the dam sites along with building the dams. These dams are built in an effort to provide more accessible water along this mountain stream using sandbags and rocks.

Although the water source can be maintained for a period of time, inevitably these dams deteriorate over time and are eventually destroyed by heavy rainfall, thus losing the ability to keep water reserves. To futile ends, villagers try to keep the dams preserved but the materials upon which they are built are no match for the forces of nature. Ultimately, the time and effort put into repairing and maintaining the dams takes time and resources away from other projects that could be benefiting the community.

Project Description
This project is to build a permanent catch dam to replace the main sandbag dam and create a reliable clean water supply.

Project funds will be used to purchase sand and concrete and to pay for specialized labor.

The new dam, built using more resilient material, will guarantee water can be provided to existing users as well as create a supply for new homeowners.

Retaining water in this area could also benefit the local environment by providing more groundwater and moisture in the air, allowing the local vegetation to flourish.

Villagers will also be able to save energy and money if they are able to use water from the stream instead of using generators to pump water from underground.

Providing water to new residents will also help generate more income from water usage fees, which can be used to lay more piping in order to reach those homes further away.

In addition, with the extra water, the group has already talked about a possible income-generating ice-making group.

Project Impact
845 people living in Village 3 (Hadsompaen Village) will benefit from this project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Paul Gauci

This is a great project that uses the appropriate technology to solve the water problems of the entire village. It is extremely cost-effective, as it reaches a large number of people immediately, and provides a remedy that will last far into the future without the need of annual reconstruction.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of friends and family of Peace Corps Volunteer Paul Gauci.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Paul of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Paul and/or those of other PCVs in Thailand.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.