Houses with Cracks and Collapse are Still Their Home. Why? (I)
2019/6/11 10:49:00 本站

By / Zhang Na


[Editor’s note:] The author of this article is Zhang Na, the “EPIL (Environmental Public Interest Litigation) Girl” of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF). This story is a case followed by her for more than three years. It is also a case that she has been unable to put down. The chicanery of the defendant and the helplessness of the villagers are still vivid in her mind. Recently, the case was sent back to the first instance for retrial with unknown results. Meanwhile, the arrival of the rainy season gives Zhang Na's a deeper concern.


This is a strong house built by the local villagers. However, the cracks on the wall became a knife hanging over the villagers' heads. No one is sure when the knife will hit the head. In March 2016, Zhongzhai Village, Qingzhen City, Guizhou Province


Although this is an unpleasant hypothesis, I can't help asking this question in order to facilitate transposition thinking.


1. Would you like to live in such a house?


2. Do you worry if your old people and children live in such a house every day?


3. The destroyer said it could be repaired, repaired and continued to live. If there were any cracks, it could still be repaired, and they could continue to live in. Do you accept that?


A Shocking Sight


In December 2015, CBCGDF received reports from the masses that most of the houses and farmland in the two natural villages, Zhongzhai and Longtanba villages of Zhanjie Town, Qingzhen City, Guizhou Province, had cracks, collapses, and damages to varying degrees, even when many paddy fields had turned into dry land, people and livestock had difficulties in drinking water, and houses had cracks to different degrees, even after repairing, they continued to crack for some time. The causes of these disasters are all from illegal mining activities in Maiba mining area of Guizhou Branch of China Aluminum Co., Ltd.


Just that month, I went to Zhongzhai Village in Qingzhen as a representative of the CBCGDF Law Department. Although it was sunny, the road was still muddy. On the way, I made mud on one foot and one trouser leg. When I saw the scene in the village, I felt that the mud could really ignore the three digits behind the decimal point. Farmland subsidence, waterless irrigation, cracks in the houses of villagers in Zhongzhai village, holes in the ground, collapse... To my surprise, even so, these houses are still inhabited by people! They are Miao people who have lived here for generations. The Miao people living here are called "Four Seals Miao". They are a branch of the Miao people. Because the front chest, back, and sleeves of the national costumes are printed with four ancient seals representing the national characteristics and history, and they are also called "the people who wear history on their bodies".


It was sunny, not rainy, but the roads in the village were as muddy as rainy days. Shortly after I entered the village, my boots had come out as if it were raining.



On sunny days, the village was still muddy and the road was difficult to walk. Slip carefully all the time.


In sharp contrast to muddy roads, Miao partners have distinctive Festival clothes. Only in festival celebrations can villagers wear unique "Four Seals of Miao" clothes. Pictures come from the Internet.


In 2017, there were 34 such collapse pits, 34 in a village, and they have been counted for the past two years.



Collapse pits like this can be seen everywhere in the village (March 2016)


And they've been through this situation for ten years.


The last time I went was February 28, 2019, and the situation in the village had not improved at all.


On February 28, 2019, when Chen Jie, a reporter of the New Beijing News, went to an interview, he filmed it.


On February 28, 2019, when Chen Jie, a reporter of the New Beijing News, went to an interview, he filmed it.

According to the injured villagers, as early as 2008, they began to suffer geological disasters caused by mining activities. In addition to the rainy spring and summer in Guizhou, these collapses and cracks are very easy to induce landslides and landslides in the rainy season, which not only directly affect the safety of the lives and property of the owners of the houses, but also the local residents who did not crack and the foundation did not collapse because of road collapse. The security of their lives and property is also threatened by the situation of living next to each other. This kind of man-made geological disasters, which spread all over the village and surrounding areas, seriously affected the normal life of local residents and also posed a great threat to the safety of life and property of tourists and passers-by.


Don't look for it deliberately. The whole village is like this. This is the third time that I went to Zhongzhai Village in Qingzhen to shoot, in March 2016.






Chilling cunning


It is understood that the Guizhou Branch of China Aluminum Industry Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Guizhou Aluminum Company) did not meet the "Environmental Impact Report on the Pit Mining Project (500,000 t/a) in Maiba Mining Area of the Second Bauxite Mine of Guizhou Branch of China Aluminum Industry Co., Ltd.) issued by Guizhou Environmental Science Research and Design Institute in May 2007, and the environment of Guizhou Province before carrying out mining activities in Maiba Mining Area. The preconditions for mining activities put forward in Qianhuan Letter [2007] 250 "Approval of Environmental Impact Report of Maiba Mining Area Mining Project (500,000 t/a) in Maiba Mining Area, No. 2 Aluminum Mine of Guizhou Branch of China Aluminum Industry Co., Ltd." has not only failed to complete the "removal of residents in Zhongzhai and Zhongzhai Primary and Secondary Schools within 500 meters of Longtan Dam Industrial Site and within the sanitary protection distance". As a result, the cracking and deformation of 1, 2 and 3 groups of village houses in Ronghe village gradually intensified, and the scale and scope of geological hazards of ground subsidence in and around Zhongzhai village expanded year by year. And with the passage of time and the continuation of mining activities, the villagers ‘houses and ground outside the "500 meters" mentioned in the EIA report have cracked, but because of its "outside the scope", Guizhou Aluminum Company has not relocated and resettled them, so there is the photo at the beginning of the article. Today, the elderly and children still live in this precarious house.


On January 18, 2016, the People's Court of Qingzhen City, Guizhou Province, formally accepted the case of China Green Development Association suing Guizhou Branch of China Aluminum Industry Co., Ltd. and China Aluminum Industry Co., Ltd. for geological hazards caused by mining. This is the first environmental public interest lawsuit for geological collapse caused by mining in China.


After the acceptance of the case, we have contacted the relevant personnel of Guizhou Aluminum Company. During the conversation with them, the other side said that Zhongzhai Village house, whether within the red line or outside the red line, as long as there were risks, the company recognized that they caused it, but it needs to be identified, identified that the house is dangerous, but also can be repaired, not to the point of relocation, that is to be repaired. This house should be moved, so move it. I remember very clearly when we told your aluminum company that you should live in these houses by yourselves and pay for repairing them for yourselves. Do you dare to stay?


Not all of them were relocated according to the requirements of EIA approval and then mined. After the shocking situation mentioned above, they claimed that they could be repaired after appraisal. The appraisal said that the dangerous houses were relocated only when they reached the level of relocation. This is probably the most chilling cunning argument.


A heartbreaking meeting


In the summer of 2016, I came to Qingzhen again, anxious to talk with many villagers ‘representatives in Zhongzhai village, and asked if all villagers would like to move. Are there villagers who are unwilling to leave their original residence? As a result, villagers have always said that they are willing to relocate. Even if the house is not cracked now, it does not mean that there will be no problems in the future. It is terrible to live in such a house every day.

(To be continued.)

Original Chinese article:

Translated by / Jia Yueran