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Chon Buri villagers complain of air pollution from burning crops

Tara Abhasakun

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Residents of a Chon Buri housing estate complained to local authorities that crop burning at nearby plantations has been causing not only air pollution, but ash has been falling on their cars, houses, and clothes. They say sugar cane plantations in particular were creating the ash in the air through illegal burning, causing poor air quality for the people living in the 100 houses of the estate. But, apparently, the problem is nothing new. Residents say the neighbouring plantations burn their crops every year during this time, and they have complained several times.

Crop burning is a sensitive issue in this area. Officials often side with farmers as farmers have little or no other method of getting rid of crops. For years, Thailand’s government has vowed to tackle problems with air pollution, both in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Covid-19, however, has shifted the government’s priorities and derailed its plans to do so.

People with extensive knowledge on issues with crop burning and air pollution have suggested the government not allow factories and suppliers to accept burnt sugarcane. They have also suggested providing farmers with free training and resources in alternative methods of harvesting. Though government officials regularly promise to carry out such plans, this kind of training and resources will require significant infrastructure and organisation, and doesn’t look like it will be implemented anytime soon.

Source: The Pattaya News

 

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    A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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