Pollution in Thailand
This level of toxicity of pollution is sadly not uncommon in Thailand.
On my first visit to Bang
Poo in 1996 the sea was coloured yellow, orange, purple and
red from seepage from nearby paint and chemical factories - things
are slightly better these days.
A famous case
is that of Klitty Creek in Western Thailand where lead poisoning
has been tolerated in watecourses by the authorites for many years
despite the deaths of numerous villagers. Recently a settlement
has been reached on this case which was reduced on appeal by the
offending parties. Cleanup plans consist of allowing the pollution
to be absorbed by the environment.
This is all
too common an approach and the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in
Rayong has been recognised as the most dangerous place in Thailand
to work because of the high levels of pollution, pollution which
the authorities leave the environment to absorb. Apparently the
air in the region has become so noxious as to cause health problems
for the locals.
The worry of
pollution leading to the decline of fish stocks and other coastal
resources has lead recently to protests against a steel smelting
plant to be built in Prachuab Kiri Khan. Local fishermen and villagers
do not want to have to live alongside the inevitable pollution this
plant would create and unfortuantely the leader of the protestors
has apparently received death threats!