The Return of Fireflies and Quality of Life in Bang Krasorb Community

Nov 7, 2016

 “The day we saw fireflies coming back and sparkling in our neighborhood we were so happy. It shows, we can preserve fireflies and its habitats for the next generations,” said Sukit Plubchang, coordinator of Clear Water in Beautiful Canal Project, Bang Krasorb Community.
Located in Phrapradaeng district of Samut Prakarn province, Bang Krasorb community once was the habitat of thousands of fireflies. However, residents had noticed that as urbanization advanced and the ensuing increased water pollution, there were less and less fireflies and eventually they disappeared.
With the first intention to bring back the lighting bugs, which need clean and still water to spawn, the residents now enjoy the improved water quality of the natural waterways surrounding their community.
With seed funding from the “Water for People Partnership”, an initiative supported by the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) and UNDP, Bang Krasorb residents, with their clear Water in Beautiful Canal Project, are able to install Wastewater Filter Pits into their domestic waste water system. The tanks are the first point to remove all kinds of waste, including decaying organic matter, free-floating particulate, excrete waste as well as chemicals, out of waste water before it is released into the natural canals. Before installation of the pits, all the waste was released directly into the canals.
Starting with the pilot area of 3 rai of land surrounding Sukit’s home, the project has spread to his neighbors and expanded to 41 rai of land, covering 180 households who have all installed the wastewater filter pits, further improving the quality of the water in the canals in their community.
“Not only is the habitat of the fireflies is preserved, our quality of life has improved as well,” said Sukit. This is despite the fact that Bang Krasorb community is surrounded by urban and industrial areas. “Our preserved area is still fertile.”
The MWA-UNDP Water for People Partnership/Small Grants Programme provides small grants to communities along Mae Klong and Chao Phraya river basins to protect water resources, build community networks and create awareness. The programme is based on the belief that local ideas and ownership are often the best solution to environmental challenges, and they are often the hardest hit by environmental degradation.