The recent release of a comprehensive 32 page report by Human Rights Watch details 16 years of failures on the part of Thailand’s Pollution Control Department and country health officials.
The report and the above video help to outline the serious environmental and health effects that a non-defunct lead processing factory had on it’s surrounding area.
The factory, located in the far west of Thailand, is the cause of one the of the worst cases of industrial pollution that the country has seen.
Human Rights Watch reports that: “‘Many residents of Lower Klity Creek village suffer the symptoms of chronic lead poisoning, such as abdominal pain, headaches, fatigue, and mood changes.”
They even go as far as to say that:
“Some children have been born with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
Part of the reason is that many residents of that area were never told or had no idea the water was polluted. They used the water for everything from cooking to bathing.
One such resident Ma Ong Saeng Nasuanborisuth, went blind from drinking the water near her home.
For villagers in Lower Klity, the polluted creek is an integral part of their daily life.
With all the reported illness why didn’t the government take any action?
The issue first came to light in 1998 and the Thai government went to investigate and had plans to restore the creek. This effort is seen as a response to the news coverage but once the coverage died down so did any effort to restore the creek.
Villagers were told by government officials that they wouldn’t be restoring the creek essentially leaving villagers alone with polluted water.
With Thailand’s relatively new military led government now in charge do you think environmental problems will be better addressed?