Protect Socotra Island [Archives:2005/808/Letters to the Editor]

January 17 2005

Karel Ploteny
There are at least two good reasons as to why it is necessary to protect the rare eco-system of the Socotra Island. One is to protect the health of inhabitans and tourists by treating the underground water used as a source for their day-to-day water supply, and the second one is to preserve the unique eco-system by protecting the aboveground water that flows into wadi or into the sea.

Following is a list of priorities for this region that officials may want to consider, according to varied aspects of different localities and according to a requested level of water treatment:

– treating and recycling of wastewater considered for irrigation purposes

– treating of industrial wastewater (fish company, etc.)

– treating of domestic wastewater from greater agglomerations with high concentration of inhabitants

– treating of wastewater from low density agglomerations with small concentration of inhabitants

-treating of wastewater from individual houses

The wastewater treatment on the Socotra Island is a matter of urgency that is only reinforced by previous experiences, for example from Thailand, where the influx of tourists brought about irreparable damage to plankton and invertebrates (coral), or from the Adria coast, where the damage of the eco-system is so big that it causes the outflow of tourists.