Last update:
2020-11-23

Cancer Village Qiugang and Jiucailuo Chemical plant in Anhui, China

Haihua Chemical Products Corporation polluting waters and causing an unprecedent rate of cancer at Anhui Province



Description:

In the two and a half years leading up to 2006, Qiugang—a village of 2,000 people in the Huai River Basin in Anhui Province—had 53 deaths due to cancer.[1] These deaths were not solely among the elderly; children as young as one-year old manifested malignant tumors. The air in the village smelled like rotten eggs. The pollution of Baojiagou River—a tributary of the Huai that is vital to the Qiugang's local economy and welfare— was due to the Jiucailuo Chemical Plant, a chemical factory in Bengbu, Anhui Province, located 135 km north of Nanjing on the Huai River.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Cancer Village Qiugang and Jiucailuo Chemical plant in Anhui, China
Country:China
State or province:Anhui
Location of conflict:Bengbu
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Chemical industries
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific commodities:Benzene, dyes
Chemical products
Pesticides
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Jiucailuo Chemical Plant, a chemical factory in Bengbu, Anhui Province, located 135 km north of Nanjing on the Huai River.

Type of populationRural
Affected Population:2000 villages in Qiugang (53 deaths due to cancer) [1], 40,000 villagers living along the Baojia Waterway [6]
Start of the conflict:2003
End of the conflict:2008
Company names or state enterprises:Jiucailuo Chemical and Industrial Products Company from China
Haihua Chemical Products Corporation from China
Relevant government actors:Qiugang village officials, Bengbu city officials, Beijing environmental authorities
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Green Anhui.
Yale Environment 360
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Industrial workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Waste overflow
Potential: Genetic contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Deaths
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Other Health impactsSevere diarrhea, vomiting, nosebleeds and lightheadedness, high incidence of cancer [1]
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Increase in violence and crime, Violations of human rights
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Corruption
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Repression
Violent targeting of activists
Withdrawal of company/investment
Displacement of the plant in an industrial park
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The smell of rotten eggs may be gone from Qiugang village, but years of pollution have left the soil contaminated—the entire village is less than 17 acres, and 10 percent of its soil is severely polluted. One chemical company offered to compensate the villagers for crops lost during the time it produced chemicals, but this compromise ignores the long-term damage to the soil and the many years to come during which Qiugang villagers will be unable to produce edible crops. The compensation also does not address lingering health problems [1]. According to a recent article in Xinhua News, the village of Qiugang remains desolate and highly polluted six years after the three polluting factories were ordered to shut down their operations and relocate to a nearby industrial park. Ongoing environmental restoration efforts have produced minimal results [5].
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[7] Friends of the Earth and Banktrack - The Green Evolution
[click to view]

[1] Victory: A Grassroots NGO Empowers a "Cancer Village" to Take Action
[click to view]

[2] The Warriors of Qiugang: A Chinese Village Fights Back
[click to view]

[3] ‘The Warriors of Qiugang’ – Documentary
[click to view]

[4] Warriors of Qiugang
[click to view]

[5] 旧污未去,新污又来——淮河部分污染村庄回访目击
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[6] The Warriors of Qiugang: A Chinese Village Fights Back [Link to Oscar-Nominated Documentary]
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EJOLT team at School of Geography and China Centre, University of Oxford
Last update23/11/2020
Conflict ID:1799
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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