Nakha boasts stunning mountainous scenery, and is home to the highly endangered Water Lily, known locally as the “Yah Chong.” This fresh-water plant has unusually long leaves and delicate white flowers that bloom from October to December. Unfortunately, the water lily faces serious threats from river dredging and collection for resale as aquarium plants.
To help save the Water Lily, locals formed a conservation group to protect its habitat, and offered rafting excursions to raise public awareness of this beautiful plant. Profits were used by the club to pay for school trips and sponsor a nursery for replanting the water lilies.
Sadly the group closed due to extensive dredging of the canal, but is still available to show the surrounding area and talk about the lessons learned in community conservation.
The ecosystems around Nakha are home to rare orchids, hornbills, wild elephant; and a number of endemic species including the Water Lily, white palm, and fresh-water carp. In past, the natural resources of Nakha were often taken advantage of by corrupt business interests, leading to deforestation and poor water quality. Deforestation and poor water quality affected the human and natural communities.
Eventually, villagers from Ban Fai Tah and Ban Rai Nai banded together with national environmental activists to create Klong Nakha Wildlife Sanctuary — a 300,000 rai preserve that recognizes the access rights of local communities. Simultaneously, villagers formed agriculture and fishery associations to manage resources outside the sanctuary.
How to Contact
Due to dredging and environmental changes, rafting has been temporary suspended.
Thai speakers can arrange trips arranged directly. English speakers are advised to contact local tour operator Andaman Discoveries.
Chamni Aunkaw, Chairman
Telephone: +66 (0) 84 192 6048