More than 500 dead wild water birds appeared in the lake areas of Inner Mongolia since this summer as a result of water pollution. The poisonous water, as reported by local herdsmen, came from factories from a nearby eco-industrial area. Annie Lee from China Hush wrote a photo feature on the situation.
My small contribution about environmental problems in Inner Mongolia:
Jost Wübbeke from the University of
Berlin writes that mining of coal and rare earths contributes a lot
to pollution. It consumes precious water resources and creates toxic
waste. An example is a facility of the state enterprise Baogang in
the town of Baotou, that extracts rare earths. Production waste
that contains thorium, sulfuric acid and hydrofluoric acid is
disposed in a large tailings pond, that comprises 10 km². The
inhabitants of the nearby villages of Xinguang and Dalahai started to
suffer from diseases like osteoporosis, and lost their teeth. The
cancer rate went up and their immune system was weakened.
Baogang has had a program to resettle
the inhabitants to modern housing estates in the district of
Kundoulun. But the contribution of 800 renminbi per square metre
seems to be rather expensive for the people.
Jost Wübbeke writes in his conclusion,
that China has now extensive environmental legislation. But the
persons concerned have insufficient political power and influence to
turn legislation into action.
Source: Jost Wübbeke, Bergbau in der
Inneren Mongolei – Umweltverschmutzung und Konflikte. 2012, PDF.