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- Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:22 am
Please seriously consider plan B.
Maybe you can change your neighbour's attitude, you could try it of course. However some time later there’s a chance it will happen again.
Your health is not worth it to endure the trouble you will have in Thailand all the time.
If there is one thing I learned about Thailand after so many years, is that you will not change them. They do not have a long term vision.
- Posts: 44
- Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 7:00 am
We do burn some farm waste along with the burn for the sugar cane. In our case, the problem has been easily solved - the rural children have enjoyed making the project and getting a little money for when they resell the plastic - so everyone wins.
All too often I hear farangs complaining about problems that they can easily fix - just do it - as the advertising says. Thai folk are smart and very innovative - so let's capitalize on this rather than just redefining the problem over and over. Cheers
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- Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:09 am
Burning trash and fields are an increasing and right now very present problem. Just look at the current media coverage of smoke hazards in the Chiang Mai region.
The original problem stands:
How to solve traditional habits of burning trash and crops?
Personally I would run away if my health was bad, and I had financial options. Knowing how tough it can be to change anything in Asia. But let us argue that moving out is not an option. What are liable solutions?
- Local government campaigns, educating people and students about dangers of smoke.
- Prohibition of burning trash, with enforcement of the law.
This does not eradicate the problem of the poor, not being able to remove their trash elsewhere. They would in stead begin to pile it on their land or in the forest, creating a long term pollution problem.
- Making a local trash site, with an option for separation and recycle system. monthly or annual burnings.
This option would demand a serious local investment purchasing a landfill area, and securing underwater pollution issues. Also it would drastically improve irritants from smoke and garbage in the local area. A main problem would be the recycling and separation.
- Government recycling investments, providing opportunity for locals to sell units of separated trash; paper, metal, plastic, glass, chemicals.
A high level investment for any government, but will bring income to waste collectors and keep green areas green. Does not solve the problem of rural households burning their trash, simply because it is easier.
- Locals enforcing trash collecting systems in their own community, prohibiting private trash burning.
Demands a very strong community as well as community leader. The problem remains of where to put the trash, and who will pay the bill.
Looking at the way most European communities solved their growing trash problems (this is only 50-100 years ago), usually gives a pretty good idea of the magnitude for this. Add to this the poorly educated and traditional rural communities in Thailand, and a largely inadequate administration system. However looking at the modern and scientific possibilities we have today, I would certainly think it is doable to solve this problem.
But investments MUST be made.
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- Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:13 pm
a. If you have the space, planting trees may provide a natural filter/screen or boundary between your property and your neighbours. The denser the better, though if you do not have a clearing around your house, this could also cause pollution to cluster there too.
b. Change will come sooner or later. It's a matter of education and repetition. The focus must be on the illnesses, birth-defects, doctor's bills, hospitalisation, irritability, weakness, and lack of joy that are among many consequences. Bring this message home to the village chief and each family around you at village meetings. A written flyer in Thai will probably not help much, since literacy levels are limited among older people, and these are the ones that you must get through too. The children have been taught in school, and many have attempted to convey the message to families, but have faced the same intransigence. It will take a lot more time to sensitively point out to each of these people, that their financial well-being will improve, quality of life too, if the village buries waste rather than burns it. The financial impact/ cost of illness, is perhaps the best angle for leverage, though consider too that poorer families seem often to welcome a visit to the hospital (for less critical illnesses) because they receive attention that might be absent at home and social contact is increased.
c. Here in Isaan, I make a point of refusing plastic when buying locally (mai sai toung...I don't want plastic). We don't allow any burning on our property, and most are therefore aware of a problem. Hard-headedness, pride and resistance to intervention hamper change. Some believe it's something that affects other people, not them. Ego/gross stupidity, I'll need to take a great deal more time to sit down with the help of my wife as translator, and talk about health problems in each family locally. How much is spent on medicines and doctors each year for example. A proposal sheet for international cancer agencies would perhaps garner financial aid.
d. We all need to become very active everywhere in Thailand every day, setting an example and explaining the problem in a direct and personal way to those that burn. It's a western disease we've brought and have a responsibility in addressing it with time, care, and sensitivity. The more time spent the better. Start with your village chief. Is there a potential burial area nearby? Source funds to have a hole dug, etc etc. You've made a significant investment. It's worth protecting it.
Good luck. There are thousands upon thousands of people concerned about this, millions worldwide, mostly the smart ones. Together we can help morality prevail.
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