As reported in ELAW’s Winter 2013 Advocate
For 15 years, toxic waste from a lead mine contaminated water, soil and aquatic wildlife in Klity Creek, the only water source for more than 300 ethnic Karen villagers in Kanchanaburi province, west of Bangkok. In January, a Thai court ordered the government to clean up the creek and compensate the villagers. The Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide provided Thai partners at EnLaw with information about the dangers of lead exposure and how to clean up lead contamination. In the year ahead, ELAW will help EnLaw develop, implement, and monitor an effective clean up. The lead mine and ore processing facility, owned by Lead Concentrates Co., was established in 1967. In 1998, torrential rain caused the mine’s tailings facility to rupture, releasing more than 800 metric tons of lead into the Klity creek watershed. The mine and processing facility was immediately shut down, and the Public Health Ministry prohibited using water from the creek and banned fishing.