Target: Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayuth Chan-o-cha
Goal: Clean up toxic creek responsible for health problems among country’s people
Access to clean water is an important conversation to be had amongst leaders of every country, especially those of the third-world. In Thailand, people living near Kilty Creek continue to experience devastating health problems, despite reprimand from environmentalists and activists and promises by the country’s government to clean up the toxic stream.
Nearly two years ago Thailand’s administrative court pledged to monitor the health conditions of families living near and using Kilty Creek, and even prepared plans to spearhead clean-up efforts. Today, Kilty Creek remains one of the most toxic streams in the world, teeming with lead and responsible for killing countless villagers that rely on the stream to carry out basic daily activities, like bathing and fishing.
Further, the failure by Thailand’s Pollution Control Department and public health authorities to restore Kilty Creek to its former glory spans nearly 16 years, as residents continue to experience symptoms of chronic lead poisoning, such as unexplained abdominal pain, headaches, fatigue, and vicious mood changes: a direct result of the careless shut-down of a now-defunct lead processing factory. Also, the residents that occupy land near Kilty Creek have also experienced their children being born with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as physical deformities.
Moreover, the lead poisoning found in the stream isn’t contained in Kilty Creek; it has also polluted the soil in nearby areas and contaminated the air, tripling, sometimes quadrupling the exposure to lead poisoning for the stream’s residents. Despite the severe environmental and health damages caused, Thailand is currently discussing ways to increase the country’s lead production, completely ignoring the negative impact such industries have had on the country’s landscape and people.
More than four provinces in the country are critically contaminated with cyanide, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, manganese and other industrial chemicals, making them inhabitable and environmentally hazardous. The Thai government needs to stop practicing apathy and come up with clear, defined plan to clean up Kilty Creek, as well as other polluted areas across the country.
Sign the petition to urge Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha to abide by legislation that is dedicated to improving the livelihood of Thailand’s people and committed to boosting the environmental condition of the country.
Dear Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha,
Thailand’s population is suffering greatly from the damaging effects of lead poisoning and other industrial chemicals that have seeped into their streams and contaminated their land. Kilty Creek, for example, is responsible for birth defects, deformities, and even death. While other provinces experience the severe health and environmental effects of cyanide, mercury, arsenic and cadmium poisoning.
To say that Thailand’s environment and its people are suffering is an understatement. Highly toxic land and water can interrupt the body’s neurological, biological and cognitive functions. The ingestion of high levels of industrial chemicals can cause brain, liver, kidney, nerve and stomach damage, as well as comas, convulsions and death. Think of the countless children and pregnant women who depend on the water from Kilty Creek to carry out day-to-day functions, like bathing, drinking and even fishing. Exposure to these damaging levels of lead, mercury and arsenic are causing them permanent developmental disabilities and behavioral problems, as well as hearing loss and loss of visual and motor functioning.
The government of Thailand needs to step up and realize that the entire country is failing, both in health and environmentally. The answer to a better life for the people of Thailand doesn’t lie in the advent of more damning industrial factories, it lies in the cleaning up and protection of pristine waters, important lands and in helping those affected by industrial waste poisoning.
I urge you to clean up Kilty Creek and create promising legislation aimed at improving the health and well-being of the entire country and its population.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli via Flickr