Water is one of the most important resources on Earth, without it life would not exist. Inside our bodies as in many animals, it plays a major role in transporting, dissolving, replenishing nutrients, organic matter and carrying waste material. It even regulates activities of fluids, tissues, cells, blood, and glandular secretions.
As mentioned before, water is not only important for us, but to every living organism and ecosystem on earth. However this has not been given the value and respect it deserves. Society has created other priorities based on consumption and materialism. Industries have taken over the world, surrounded by technology and media. We have destroyed and forgotten the love for nature and what it gives us, which is life. Without trees we would not have oxygen so we would die, besides it causes floods, and the death of many animals, that lose their homes because they depend on trees to survive.
Factories and Industries produce large amounts of waste, which destroys the environment, because most of it contain toxic chemicals and gases. In El Salvador, few control over waste usage and industry exist. Even though we have laws that protect the environment, they are not enforced and followed. Some factories leave their trash wherever, producing large amounts of pollution.
Such is the case of San Luis Talpa in our country, 28 years ago a pesticide agriculture factory (Quimiagro) confronted a crisis and went bankrupt. As the years passed, neighbors in the area started to present renal failure which is a medical condition in which kidney fails to clean and separate waste from blood. This condition affected a large amount of the people living in the neighborhood. Eventually, the major of San Luis Talpa, Salvador Menéndez informed that in 2013, 14 deaths were caused by this condition. In 2012, 55 deaths occured due to kidney failure as well. Once they saw the impressive amount of deaths investigations started.
The factory poison was still penetrated in the air and water. About 19 tons of pesticides were abandoned in the factory since it was closed in 1984. “Due to climate conditions one of the barrels was about to colapse, which could cause more pollution” said the major. This toxic barrels contain 6 tons of toxafeno, 12 tons of Sponto, 1 ton of paratíon metílico and Etil paratíon. Some of this pesticides were prohibided in 1990 because of its dangers to health and the environment.
Now health delegates and the Ministry of Environment are taking control of the barrels. However, people are still suffering the consequences of this pollution. Children being the most vulnerable on getting this disease. The last news that was heard of this event was the removal of 12 tons of polluted soil from the intoxicated area.
This terrible toxication issue occured and the reactions of this community were few, they were taken naturally. Some people complained of the issue, but the reaction of important institutions was slow and they took a very long time in finding the proper solution. However, the barrels still remain inside the country. Why do people are so careless? Why did people that got kidney failure took it so normally as if the problem was theirs? Why hasn´t anyone now done anything to destroy the barrels? What is the government doing now about the issue? This problem occured in 2011-2012, and until this day it has not been completely solved.
Another case, which has not been given much importance is the pollution of the Acelhuate River. This river runs through 18, largely populated municipios. It is also connected to many tributaries and other important rivers, such as the Lempa River. The Lempa, provides about 40% of “drinkable water” to urban areas in San Salvador. And still, 45% of solid trash is thrown to the Acelhuate River, which later is send to us as “clean water”.
The drainage basin of this river is surrounded by small villages, with a high population rate of about 1.3 million people currently living on that area.
It would be wise to think that the only pollutants of the river are industries, however this is false. Most of the people living around the drainage basin are throwing trash to the river. Another fact of wisdom, would be that people living on that areas have at some point experienced the overflow of the river, seeing the destruction of their homes caused by the dirty water. People see this and don´t care, once their homes are destroyed they start building a new home on the same spot, knowing that it may happen again, that it is not a good environment to live in and raise children. But stil, people do it.
It is incredible how people in our country are so careless of their own environment. We claim that we love our country, that we are proud of being Salvadoran. But all of this is false, we just ask for nature and resources. On the other hand, we never do anything about it. People on these communities ask for aid whenever their houses are destroyed but they are the same people that throw the trash into the river.
The ministry of the Environment has announced a plan for the improvement of the river, but it has not been employed. The Comité Ambiental de San Salvador y la Ciudad Capital (CASSCA) has created a new program to rescue this river, but the progress has not been seen.
Why is there so Little importance on our country? Why do we always throw trash to the street? Why do we stain relevant places with violent signs that reflect hate within one another? Why can´t we live in peace and establish the proper rules?
The truth is we live in a sloppy and dishonored society. For us 14 dead people per day is normal, terrible health care system is normal, no recreational spaces is normal for us, why are we so used to violence?