Education Resource

China: Polluted Waters in Fujian

Author Yanyan Chen. New York City.

Author Yanyan Chen. New York City.

This article is from a student at Tenzer Learning Center in New York, NY. Tenzer participated in a series of visits with Pulitzer Center journalists leading up the High School News Literacy Summit at Baruch College in Manhattan.

Jam Chen is my uncle. He is 53 years old. He has a farm in Fujian, China. While I was young, I always played in his farm. He always said some funny things to me. One day, he pointed at his plants and said, "This year, sunshine, fertile soil, enough water, we will have a good harvest!" Then he smiled like a sun. I said, "Today is sunshine. Why don't we go to the sea to find some crabs to eat?" I said this because the sea was just near my uncle's farm. It was clean and we could find crabs there.

When I was growing up, people threw garbage into the water. I couldn't understand why they did it. I saw the water was getting less and also more dirty. The plants were not growing as well as before. The sea smelled awful. Mande Barlow who is a National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians said, "Water is being depleted many, many times faster than nature can replenish it."

Robert Allen who is an American writer, artist, and social activist said, "Water is one of the most basic of all needs -- we cannot live for more than a few days without it. And yet, most people take water for granted. We waste water needlessly and don't realize that clean water is a very limited resource. More than 1 billion people around the world have no access to safe, clean drinking water, and over 2.5 billion do not have adequate sanitation service. Over 2 million people die each year because of unsafe water - and most of them are children."

I know we cannot trust some information because some people cover the problem for their self benefit. Some news and information has a strong bias and there are ways to recognize this. There are so many ways to find news, but it does not mean we can trust it.

I asked my uncle, "When you met the floods or droughts what did you do?"

He said, "Depends on situation. The problem is too serious, you need good luck!!" He sighed and continued, "This year, we met a lot of problems with water!"