They had long suffered from the improper dumping of garbage at the back of the municipality office.
It stank and attracted flies and mosquitos that inflicted the nearby community. Crop yields in rice fields near the garbage pile were way below normal.
Somsak Choeysawas, 59, has 23 rai next to the garbage pile. He said he had suffered mounting losses for several years as the muck from the rubbish flowed into his fields.
He used to harvest 18-19 tonnes of paddy each crop, but the yield had dropped to only 5-6 tonnes.
Mr Sommak said he complained about the problem several times and also reported it to the police but nothing happened while the garbage pile kept getting bigger every day.
“I'm thinking of stopping growing rice as I cannot continue this way. If possible, the municipality should move the garbage from the area,” he said.
Noi Aimserm, 71, said the community had been patient for a long time, putting up with the smell and the insects. She and her son had developed respiratory problems. Sometimes he had to sleep in the car as he could not bear the smell in the house.
Chaloemphol Phasuk, mayor of Lat Sawai, said the municipality was speeding up the process to find a contractor to properly move the garbage to a new, larger landfill that would not have an impact on local communities.
The municipality had sought permission from the provincial governor to close the dump site and start moving the garbage out next week.
He said villagers should write to the municipality outlining their damages, and compensation would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
After the area is cleaned up, the municipality planned to redevelop it as a public park.tank and attracted flies and mosquitos that inflicted the nearby community. Crop yields in rice fields near the garbage pile were well below normal, the complaint said.