Growing amounts of waste were one of the most pressing problems in the Thai Phitsanulok Municipality during Dr Premruadee Charmpoonod’s term of office as mayor. A solution was found with a proper dumping site and the broad support of the inhabitants, who are keen to avoid waste and practice recycling. This programme, which was supported by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, soon became a role model for the region.
When I was elected as a mayor, everything was in my hands. But I always kept in mind that I have to find out what the people’s needs are. It is always about creating positive changes in the municipality for the people.
There were always challenges. Is there enough money in the budget? Did we develop the correct plan? Can we get the acceptance and participation of the citizens? But especially in waste management we were very successful: the people were soon convinced that our project activities were necessary. I am proud of our joint achievements.
Of course when I heard that our waste management concept was recognised as a national role model in Thailand. We won the first price in the national Zero Waste Management Contest and the Dubai International Award for Best Practices. Our concept was even repeatedly promoted by ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). However, it is also a great moment for me every time I meet a citizen on the road who recognizes me and starts to chat with me about our city’s development.
Despite my age, I work most of the time. I try to reserve some time in the evenings just for myself. Then I exercise. When I do not see a single plastic bag on the lawn in the Memorial Park while doing sports, I feel reassured by my mission.
I would use my power to fill the world’s population with love. Love gave me all the power to be successful and improve things in my municipality. I am sure the world would be a better place if there was more love.