Chronic kidney disease is an epidemic in the Lower Lempa region of El Salvador. In the village of Ciudad Romero, almost every family has at least one member dying of the disease, mostly men in their 30s but sometimes teenagers and young adults as well. The Ministry of Health has declared a State of Emergency in the region, and the Spanish government is funding the construction of a multi million dollar kidney clinic to handle the growing need for local access to dialysis.
The following investigative report points to the sugar cane industry as a key culprit. That’s why EcoViva´s local partner organization, the Mangrove Association, launched the Movement to Defend Life and Natural Resources. Their goal is to regulate the agrochemicals used on sugar cane, which also contaminate all local water sources. With support from EcoViva, the movement introduced regulatory legislation into five local governments this year, but the legislation is currently on hold due to pressure from the growers. We will work in 2012 to keep up the pressure on local government councils, and the Ministry of the Environment, to regulate this toxic industry and protect local citizens.
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