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Missing the Fenjiang atmosphere

I was born and grew up along a tributary of the Pearl River, the Fenjiang in Foshan. In the early 90s, one of our favorite pastimes during the warm summer nights, was to get “yeshao” or “midnight snacks” at the dozens of outdoor eateries that sprang up along “Fenjiang”, the Fen River. These eateries would cook up greasy but tasty fried noodles, fried rice and various seafood stir fries. Vegetables and dishes were washed with water directly pulled up in buckets from the river. No one thought much of it.

By the time I returned from my first trip home after immigrating to the US, in 1998, things had turned badly. The Fenjiang smelled like the soy sauce factory nearby and had many different colors similar to the textiles coming out of another factory. In my most recent trip last year, the river didn’t smell as bad, but still look dead, if not poisonous. People had different ideas as to which factories caused the pollution, but everyone accepted the situation as inevitable and never bothered with finding out the truth.

The causes for the Pearl River Delta’s pollution problems are clear. Irresponsible and profit-driven companies are obvious culprits but the ineffectiveness of enforcement at the regional level is a crucial cause for the continuation of the crisis. Armed with some of the most stringent environmental laws and regulations, Chinese environmental protection agencies are unwilling to utilize the power given to them by the national government because they are adhering to short term profit-driven interests. It’s time to change all that!!

Comments

JaniceW's picture

Thank you for sharing your thoughts

It is wonderful to hear a voice of China as we rarely hear from the inside of life away from the cities. I hope that you will use PulseWire to communicate what is happening in China, the challenges and concerns you have as well as your hopes and dreams for your country. We are currently calling for submissions on the topic of Land, of which three will receive an honorarium and several will be published in the next issue of our print magazine, Earth. I would love for you to submit these thoughts, the guidelines for submission being found at the link below. The deadline is midnight on Sunday, November 15th, Pacific Standard Time.
http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/groups/14348

Thank you for sharing your story and I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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