In the absence of a country-wide water delivery system, many El Salvadorian communities rely solely on natural bodies of water for their health and livelihood. Yet, nearly 90% of El Salvador’s waterways are contaminated with pollution. A significant amount of that contamination comes from waste dumping by silver and gold mines.
Francisco Pineda won the Goldman Prize in 2011 for his brave campaign to protect El Salvador’s dwindling clean water resources, particularly the Rio Lempa, from mining contamination. Sadly, the situation in El Salvador is only one example of a global problem.
Earthworks (a Goldman Prize nominating organization) and Minewatch Canada recently released a report entitled, “Troubled Waters: How Mine Waste Dumping is Poisoning Our Oceans, Rivers, and Lakes.” The report focuses on ten companies whose waste-dumping practices threaten the Earth’s most vulnerable bodies of water.