Greenpeace Toxic Free Chao Phraya River tour arrives in Ayuthaya

Governor pledges to reverse the threat of river pollution

Feature story - May 27, 2009
Greenpeace activists on the 350 km long ‘Toxic-free Chao Praya’ river tour today joined the citizens and administration of Ayuthaya in a river clean program in the canals of this historical city on the invitation of the Governor Mr. Vithaya Pewpong.

Greenpeace activists on the 350 km long ‘Toxic-free Chao Praya’ river tour today joined the citizens and administration of Ayuthaya in a river clean program in the canals of this historical city. On the occasion Mr. Vithaya Pewpong, Governor of Ayuthaya declared that starting today his administration will conduct environmental will conduct environmental awareness week that will conclude on 5th of June, World Environment Day.

Greenpeace Toxic Free Chao Phraya river Journey aims to inspire all stakeholders on the river – government and industry, polluters and impacted communities to catalyse a collective effort to find solutions to save the Chao Phraya River.

Greenpeace activists on the 350 km long ‘Toxic-free Chao Praya’ river tour today joined the citizens and administration of Ayuthaya in a river clean program in the canals of this historical city. On the occasion Mr. Vithaya Pewpong, Governor of Ayuthaya declared that starting today his administration will conduct environmental will conduct environmental awareness week that will conclude on 5th of June, World Environment Day.

Greenpeace Toxic Free Chao Phraya river Journey aims to inspire all stakeholders on the river – government and industry, polluters and impacted communities to catalyse a collective effort to find solutions to save the Chao Phraya River.

Greenpeace activists on the 350 km long ‘Toxic-free Chao Praya’ river tour today joined the citizens and administration of Ayuthaya in a river clean program in the canals of this historical city. On the occasion Mr. Vithaya Pewpong, Governor of Ayuthaya declared that starting today his administration will conduct environmental will conduct environmental awareness week that will conclude on 5th of June, World Environment Day.

Greenpeace Toxic Free Chao Phraya river Journey aims to inspire all stakeholders on the river – government and industry, polluters and impacted communities to catalyse a collective effort to find solutions to save the Chao Phraya River.

Greenpeace activists on the 350 km long ‘Toxic-free Chao Praya’ river tour today joined the citizens and administration of Ayuthaya in a river clean program in the canals of this historical city. On the occasion Mr. Vithaya Pewpong, Governor of Ayuthaya declared that starting today his administration will conduct environmental will conduct environmental awareness week that will conclude on 5th of June, World Environment Day.

Greenpeace Toxic Free Chao Phraya river Journey aims to inspire all stakeholders on the river – government and industry, polluters and impacted communities to catalyse a collective effort to find solutions to save the Chao Phraya River.

On the occasion Mr. Pewpong also declared that starting today his administration will conduct environmental awareness week that will conclude on 5th of June, World Environment Day. The governor pledged to address the issue of pollution of the river, especially the increasing domestic and industrial waste discharge in canals and Chao Phraya River.

 "Mae Nam Chao Phraya is under severe threat from toxic effluents and non-biodegradable waste being dumped into it by industries and households. During our river-journey we encountered large quantities of garbage and assorted waste causing irreversible damage of the river, which intensified as we got closer to the historical city of Ayuthaya. But that is only visible waste, we don't know what invisible toxic waste from industrial sources are being dumped into Chao Phraya." said Ply Pirom, Greenpeace Toxic-free water campaigner.

The Toxic Free Chao Phraya river journey aims to inspire all stakeholders on the river - government and industry, polluters and impacted communities to catalyse a collective effort to find solutions to save the Chao Phraya river.

Ayuthaya, the most important historical city of Thailand is also an iconic tourist destination. It houses about 35 major factories that release wastewater into the Chao Praya River that amount to approximately of 50,704 cubic meter per day and carries approximately 450 kg of BOD load per day resulting in constant deterioration of the river (1).

In March, Greenpeace released a shocking report "Water pollution risk areas of Thailand" which reveals that 92.68 percent of the total area in Thailand is at risk from water pollution. Within these risk areas, 6.87 percent is classified as 'high risk' and could impact approximately 4,440,049 Thai citizens if corrective action is not taken immediately (2).

"Pollution from industrial sources is a priority concern due to its toxicity as it will accumulate in the eco-system and contaminate our drinking water and food. It is crucial that the government makes it mandatory for all factories to disclose their toxic release inventory. This will enable them to set a goal to eliminate most harmful chemicals from their manufacturing processes and enable them to phase in Clean Production practices." concluded Ply.

Greenpeace demands:

   1. Identify, prosecute and shut down all industries dumping hazardous chemical effluents in Chao Phraya River

   2. Launch a multi-stake holder program to clean up the Chao Phraya River

   3. Shut down all garbage and domestic waste dump sites on the banks of Chao Phraya River

   4. Give financial incentives for chemical-free agricultural practices and clean production technologies.

(1) State of Water Pollution in Chao Phraya River Basin in 2007, Industrial Environmental Institute, The Federation of Thai Industries, 2008.

(1) State of Water Pollution in Chao Phraya River Basin in 2007, Industrial Environmental Institute, The Federation of Thai Industries, 2008. (2) Full report of Water Pollution Risk Area in Thailand is available at http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/th/press/reports/water-pollution-risk-areas-thailand Summary report is available at http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/th/press/reports/water-pollution-risk-areas-thailand-briefing (3) Water Journey and Updates photos available at http://waterpatrol.greenpeace.or.th

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