Taoyuan, Hunan province has been severely affected by hazardous pollution and high-energy-consumption projects from a local aluminum production factory that went up in 2011. Crops have shrunk in size and become deformed over time due to the pollution, NetEase News reports. Even worse, more than 10 villagers have died from cancer since the plant went into operation.
Pollution to the air, water and land has caused irreparable damage to the local environment. Many residents left their home, while others didn’t want to abandon the place where they spent most of their lives.
“Most local people died or left. How can this place be a home for us?” said Liu Minghui, a resident in Taoyuan. Liu and his two brothers gathered 400,000 RMB and built a three-story house in 2008. Previously, there were more than 10 people living in the house, but now only Liu and his old mother remain. The rest went to other cities to make money after the farms became polluted.
Liu told NetEase that the moving compensation hasn’t even covered the cost of the house. He said they chose to endure the pollution because it’s hard to find such large space for agriculture elsewhere.
The environmental protection departments in Hunan are now investigating the pollution, according to Xinhua News.
Many villagers in China face similarly life-threatening pollution from factories that’ve popped up in their towns. Just this month, Guangxi villagers reported suffering abnormalities from metal pollution.
By Dina Li