Bangkok Visit Regarding ACHR Density Study

1600 hours:     NONGKAM

  • This was a slum on 16 Rai agricultural land. Part of it belonged to a private owner and the other part to a government agricultural foundation.
  • This land was next to a garbage dump so people came and settled here to salvage and sell material from the garbage.
  • There was no electricity or water (which came by trucks). The community leader (who works with CODI) contacted a Roman Catholic priest who helped in getting these utilities though there are still families that use candles for lighting because it is cheaper.
  • When the road was built five years ago near the settlement, the owner wanted to sell the land and evict the slum dwellers. Thus negotiations began with CODI involvement.
  • Different packages for different levels of affordability have been developed. (i) Double-storey house 1,200 Baht + 65 Baht land rent per month; (ii) Single-storey house 712 Baht + 65 Baht land rent and (iii) 1,200 Baht instalment + 824 Baht for land ownership. All three options for 15 year monthly instalments.
  • Garbage dump has now been transformed into a transfer station. So less garbage now comes to the dump so there are problems of income generation and jobs. People wish to continue working in the garbage sector but for this they have to travel long distances. This costs money, reduces income. They are looking into the possibility of setting up a garbage sorters collective to overcome these problems.
  • Not all children go to school for though school is free they cannot afford the cost of books, uniforms, travel to and from school. Those who do not go to school work at the dump.
  • Each person earns about Baht 100 per day. So a family earns about Baht 6,000 per month.
  • A day-care centre for children is run by the Catholic Church.
  • A really poor community and very deprived.

1900 hours:     Back to Hotel

24 December 2009: (Thursday)

1000 hours:     Picked up from hotel by Lee, Kate and Senam. Picked up community leader on way to Chearpleng

1045 hours:     CHEARPLENG


  • It is a settlement of migrants who came and settled here. The settlement grew due to proximity of industrial area, storage, nearby railway, port and coming of the roads. Before it was a rice field.
  • The settlement is on 22 Rai, has 520 housing units and 700 families, 3 to 4 persons per family. Some houses have 4 to 5 families.
  • The land belongs to the Treasury Department and the residents do not pay rent. Until recently the Treasury had shown no interest in the land.
  • Individual income is about 200 Baht per day.
  • About 100 families do not have water and electricity. They purchase it from others.
  • Over 100 families do business in their homes. Residents want houses not flats because they are vendors, garbage collectors and hawkers.
  • There is crime in the settlement. Robberies, drugs and brawls.
  • The settlement floods as it is lower than the road on which it is located.
  • People are interested in a CODI project but there is a conflict. Those who own larger houses or have made large investments in them do not want it. Also, those families who rent out rooms are opposed to it. This division is “fifty-fifty”.
  • There are two savings groups with a collective membership of 400.
  • Festivals are celebrated: New Year, Queens birthday etc.

1345 hours:     HUAMAK

  • A four to five year old NHA project.
  • People came here from different locations. Their choice was governed by their income. It had to be less than Baht 15,000 per month.
  • Area is 9 Rai. Population 1000. Accommodation 24 square metre flats costing Baht 217,600 with current instalment of 1,400 Baht per month and 33 square metre flats costing Baht 356,200 with current instalment of Baht 1,600 per month. Instalment will increase every three years?
  • Five per cent flats have been locked due to lack of payment.
  • After five years (if all payments have been made) people can sell. 10 to 20 people have. Others are likely to do so since with the sale price, better accommodation can be acquired, elsewhere.
  • White-collar workers live here. Commercial activity is permitted on the ground floor.
  • Affluent community but no music group; no child care centre (in the complex) so women stay at home or leave children with neighbours under an arrangement; no formal sports team.
  • There is a cooperative but only 85 members. Others do not see the use.
  • Maintenance costs Baht 200 per month.

1600 Hours:    ACHR office meeting

  • Lee, Kate, Senam, Maurice, Arif
  • Discussion on objectives (relationship of density with social, economic, physical, location, affordability etc), methodology (interviews, questionnaires), outputs etc.
  • Decision of settlements to be studied (to be agreed by Somsook).
  • Eight settlements will be studied: Two settlements where a CODI project and part of the original “slum” coexist (WAT Prayakai plus one more). Two settlements (slums) where there is no CODI involvement (Chearpleng plus one more). Two settlements that are CODI projects (Suanplu and Nongkam). One NHA settlement (Huamax ?). One developer produced settlement (to be identified).

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