One hundred and fifty years ago, the monster began, this country had become a place of industry. Factories grew on the landscape like weeds. Trees fell, fields were up-ended, rivers blackened. The sky choked on smoke and ash, and the people did, too, spending their days coughing and itching, their eyes turned forever toward the ground. Villages grew into town, towns into cities.
And people began to live on the earth rather than within it. ” Patrick News, A Monster Calls The theme chosen is socio economic issues; these are problems involving the economy and the social lives of citizens, the topic that was derived from this theme was “Water Pollution in the Jamaican Society’. The purpose of this theme is to make the researcher become more aware of the socio economic issues facing her community and moreover widen her knowledge on these issues. The theme relates to the researchers academic interest where as she intends to pursue a career in socioeconomics.
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She aims to bring about socioeconomic development and the overall quality f life in her society and also make others become more aware of the problems that the community and also their country are facing. Did you know nearly 1. 5 billion people lack safe drinking water? Did you also know that it is estimated that at least 5 million deaths per year can be attributed to waterborne diseases? With over 70% of the planet covered by oceans people have long acted as if bodies of water are limitless grounds for wastes.
Raw sewage, garbage and oil spills have begun to overwhelm the diluting capabilities of the oceans and most coastal waters are now polluted. Water s needed by everyone for different uses; however water is a limited natural resource which is replenished at a certain rate. Simply put, if the rate of use exceeds the rate of natural replenishment then there will be less water for everyone until there is no water for everyone. Water is a fundamental survival need of mankind. In fact, denying people access to water is tantamount to denying them a basic human right.
Still, about one billion people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water. In developing countries, especially in small island states such as Jamaica, water assumes great importance in sustainable development. Water is undoubtedly the most precious natural resource that exists on our planet. Without water life on Earth would be non-existent as it is essential for everything on our planet to grow and prosper. Even though humans are aware of this fact we ignore it by polluting our rivers, lakes and oceans.
As a result are harming our planet and ourselves. This essay examines issues relating to sources and effects of pollution, prevention and further destruction in the Caribbean island of Jamaica. There are two types of water pollutants, point sources and nonprofit resources. Point sources of pollution occur when harmful substances are emitted directly into a body of water. Point sources include pipelines, channels and drains from identifiable locations such as an industrial plant and landfills.
A nonprofit source delivers pollutants indirectly through environmental changes. Agricultural and urban runoff and airborne particulates are examples of nonprofit sources, and their entry points to receiving waters are often difficult to identify. Diffuse or nonprofit pollution sources are significant due to their far reaching geographical and temporal effects and the difficulty to contain them once they are in the water systems. According to National Environment and Planning Agency (NEAP) Jamaican major environmental problems involve water quality and waste disposal.
Did you know that 77% of Jamaican renewable water resources are used for agriculture and 7% is used for industrial purposes? Principal environmental issues facing Jamaican second largest industry are caustic soda contamination of water supplies, bauxite and alumina dust, and CEO-system dislocation. However, the island is so dependent on the export that it is very fisticuff to stop the practice. Being a limited resource in Jamaica, some day it will. But until then Jamaica needs to find mining techniques that are less harmful to the environment.
The major environmental problem caused by the industry is the disposal of the tailings, which forms an alkaline mud. The original procedure that was used to dispose of the red mud to pump material into mined-out ore bodies and Dyke valleys, however, these “red mud lakes” resulted in the percolation of caustic residues (sodium) into the underground aquifers in local areas. Recent readings obtained from domestic water wells in he vicinity of Jamaican alumina refineries have indicated elevated sodium and PH readings.
Also, the escape of caustic soda (which is used to extract alumina from raw bauxite) into the groundwater supply significantly increases sodium concentration of domestic well water mostly in the rural areas. Sodium is associated with a higher incidence of hypertension. As a result of its genetic composition, the Jamaican population is particularly subject to hypertension, which can be aggravated by high levels of sodium. On July 15, 201 2, 62,500 gallons or 250,000 liters of untreated trade effluent was purportedly released into the Pleasant Farm Gully, which leads to the ROI Cobber.
It caused the pollution of the river and forced the National Irrigation Commission to shut down operations there, and the National Water Commission to shut down its intake from the river into the Spanish Town treatment plant The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEAP) took the first Step toward legal action against the West Indies Alumina Company (Windfall), which it blames for the fish kill at the ROI Cobber in SST Catherine. The alleged breach under the Wildlife Protection Act and the Natural
Resources Conservation Authority Act. , NEAP revealed, concerned the discharge of trade effluent into the environment without the requisite license, while the reported breach under the Wildlife Protection Act had to do with allowing a toxic substance into a water body that contains fish. “The preliminary water sample test results were showing that the ROI Cobber had a pH level of 1 1. 2 on August 30 when the fish kill was detected. Our results were 11. 2, which is very close to 14.
That level was very alkaline and resulted in the fish kill,” NEAP told the Sunday Observer. They added that the presence of sodium hydroxide, an alkaline sodium compound used by bauxite companies in their operations, had likely caused the waters alkalinity. The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEAP), has served an Enforcement Notice on the National Water Commission (NC) for the alleged discharge of improperly treated trade effluent from a sewer main on North Street, Kingston.
The sewer main empties into a gully that discharges into the Kingston Harbor. “The discharge of improperly treated trade effluent into the environment poses a serious threat to the health of persons in immunities in the vicinity, as well as to the natural resources within the Kingston Harbor,” said a statement from NEAP For non-point pollution in particular, prevention is the most effective measure.
Harmful production, consumption and disposal practices need to be monitored, controlled, and where possible prohibited, to prevent hazardous substances from reaching water bodies and impacting human and ecosystem health. Destruction is a man’s will, nevertheless prevention is also a man’s will, its a man’s choice to choose between destruction and prevention. Pollution is an everyday thing, e all do it, we see friends, family and strangers do it, we know it is wrong so why do we further the destruction of our island?
We are not just killing the small fishes in the sea, or making our beaches look unpleasant but making our small home unfit for our living. It has been written that the meek shall inherit the earth. What has not been written is that they shall inherit it after the greedy and the selfish have already polluted the air, fouled the water and poisoned the food chain. The actual moral of the parable is stand up for yourself, for our planet and for all who dwell here.