The Ruian river / moving trash pile.
As Erik reported on Sunday, China has more than its fair share of polluted rivers. An entrepreneur in Zhejiang, fed up at local government inaction on protecting the environment, is offering a 200,000 yuan reward if a local official will swim in a polluted river for 20 minutes.
Jin Zengmin, chief executive of an eyeglasses retailer in Hanzhou, announced the reward on Weibo. “If the environmental protection bureau chief dares to swim in [Ruian’s] river for 20 minutes, I will pay [him] 200,000 yuan” Jin wrote, alongside three photos of a river in Ruian overflowing with rubbish.
This river was where villagers used to wash vegetables and clothes in his childhood, Jin told Chinanews.com.
Asked for comment, Ruian’s environmental protection bureau chief, Bao Zhenmin, acknowledged the river was polluted, the report said. But he said the rubbish is from people, and not factories.
“Overpopulation of this region is the main reason behind the pollution…[The population] has largely exceeded the local environment’s capacity,” Bao told Chinanews.com.
According to Bao, the Xianjiang area where the river flows has 44,000 residents, but the migrant population amounts to 80,000 alone. Zhejiang province and its many factories draw hundreds of thousands of migrants from across the country every year.