Once upon a time there was a beautiful magical bay in Hainan called Shimei Bay. One day, a big smelly giant growing garbage mountain appeared between the bay and the front of the hills. When 51Give heard about this tragic fairytale, a few knights from the 51Give castle decided to go there to help the people by fighting the monster garbage mountain.

On December 5, 2019, 51Give’s 6 of Beijing based staff and volunteers arrived at this bay. They personally witnessed the garbage mountain monster. Below is their story of what they experienced.

I was very excited to visit Hainan and have the opportunity to spend time with like-minded people. As soon as we got off the bus, we could feel the pungent smell of garbage in the air. Three representatives of the house owners voluntary group took us on a tour of several polluted spots around the housing estates, including the Shimei Bayriver estuary, the garbage dump, the real estate sales office and the Westin Hotel in Shimei Bay. The water at the Shimei Bay river estuary has been stained with garbage disposal fluid, and the flowing water has truly turned to dark green. The beach at the estuary is littered with all kinds of garbage floating downstream from the dump. Facing the blue sea and blue sky, the golden sand beach is now mixed with blackened polluted sea sand. The blessings that was bestowed on this bay by nature is no longer present.

The 51Give team then visited the source of the pollution: the Shimei Bay garbage dump. This is where mountains of garbage pile up in the luxuriantly green Shimei foothills, partly exposed and partly covered, with a pungent smell of garbage and sulfuric acid. Several large plastic buckets standing higher than 2 meters, containing garbage disposal fluid, stand in the corner of the dump. The ground is littered with pipes discharging contaminated liquid, through which the treated liquid garbage is discharged to the sea or directly penetrated into the ground.

At the dump site, 51Give staff talked to the Standing Member of the Wanning Municipal Party Committee and Minister of the Armed Forces Mr. Zhou. Mr. Zhou said, now Wanning Municipal Government is working to solve the relocation problem of this dump. There are two options: First, relocate this dump to a new site; second, transfer Wanning's garbage to Lingshui's garbage treatment plant. However, the first mentioned requires site selection and investment of nearly 300 million RMB, and the latter involves transportation costs. Both options are being drafted.

Then the team came to the Huarun real estate sales center. On the square in front of the center, many house owners were conducting protests such as reading petitions, posting banners, and shouting slogans. The petition banner was printed with “We beg the government & Huarun Group to protect the green hills and clear waters and close the Wanning garbage dump and stop polluting Shimei Bay” and fully signed by the petitioners.

Recently, security personnel started using surveillance to monitor house owners' activities.

Finally, the team came to the Westin Resort Hotel, 450 meters away from the sales center. Although the smell of garbage in the hotel is not obvious, the beach of the hotel is also polluted and damaged by garbage disposal solution. Black sand on the beach can be seen everywhere. If one digs into the sand by hand, one finds the under layer of the sand has also blackened.

51Give staff learned that the garbage dump located in the hinter land of Shimei Bay belongs to the Shimei Bay Reserve Zone and Vatica Astrotricha Forest (Green Peel Forest) Reserve Zone.

This area should be cherished and cared for. Why did we put rubbish treatment plant in a protected area in the first place? The bleak reality facing the people who live in Wanning district is beyond imagination. Hainan is given a special ecological and free trade status by the Central Government. Wanning is making Hainan and its important development goals look like an impossible dream.

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