Parkson Corp. announced the completion of a major donation effort to build a potable water plant for the village of Kuk Kak in Thailand. The water supply for this village was destroyed by the tsunami last December. The project received the backing of Parkson’s parent company Axel Johnson, Inc. and owner Antonia Johnson, with coordination assistance from many international relief agencies and major donations from several Parkson suppliers. In early October, the company joined with Thai and U.S. officials and relief agency representatives to commission the plant.
The December 2004 tsunami was the worst natural disaster in decades, claiming more than 220,000 lives and wreaking havoc along the entire Indian Ocean coast. Although the region is in the reconstruction phase, the emergency continues and much work is yet to be done.
“Parkson has the ability to provide some of the most basic and necessary needs to communities impacted by these types of disasters,” said Bill Acton, president and CEO. He credits Johnson’s generous support for making this project possible. “Knowing we can give people back their source of potable water for the long-term, makes it impossible to look the other way when a tragedy of this magnitude occurs.”
After determining that a potable water plant was the most critical need in the area, Parkson enlisted assistance from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand; USAID; and various Thai agencies. Together a site was selected, the village of Kuk Kak, and a development plan was implemented.
Kuk Kak’s small water plant had been badly damaged and, even before the tsunami, was under capacity for the population it served. The new 200-gpm water plant will provide water to the village, and with the necessary infrastructure improvements, provide potable water to the relocation villages currently under construction. After the old plant is repaired, the new water source will supplement the old plant’s capacity and provide a continuous supply of potable water to more than 800 families and the many area businesses including the reemerging tourist industry in Phang Nga Province’s Kuk Kak Sub-district.
Many people and organizations helped to make the water plant a reality. Those
include the US Embassy in Thailand; the Trade Commission from the USA Environmental Partnership; Heart-to-Heart; FedEx and the Peace Corp, Crisis Corp Division.
While Parkson Corporation designed and built the drinking water plant, many of Parkson’s suppliers, including Stel Bec Steel Products, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Elemech, Inc., Aurora, Ill.; Aerex Industries, Fort Pierce, Fla.; and Revere Control Systems, Birmingham, Ala.; made generous contributions toward the completion of the project.