Drinking Death

In Colombia there are 50% of the paramos of the world. Paramos are ecosystems with such special characteristics that they are considered "unique" on the planet. The Paramos are called as the natural water factories.

These ecosystems provide no less than 70% of the water consumed in the nation, they supply aqueducts in hundreds of municipalities, small towns and reservoirs that generate the electrical energy that the country requires to subsist, they also provide water for crop irrigation, animal consumption and livestock only drinking source in various regions of Colombia.

Colombia has the greatest biological diversity in the world; it is a country with water and mining wealth. The gold finding has encouraged the massive arrival of mining companies. For instance 22 paramos are at high risk of disappearing as a result of the effects of mining.

The high mountain mining explosion uses for the extraction of 1 gram of Gold 1000 liters of water per second, which means that in one day the same amount of water is needed by a city per day to supply 600,000 inhabitants. In addition, the extraction of gold contaminates water sources that supply aqueducts and agricultural irrigation with toxics derivate from extraction process. Gold mining uses toxic elements of very high risk for life such as Mercury, Cyanide and Arsenic is also released. Mercury causes poisoning and irreversible genetic malformations in children. Cyanide, causes respiratory paralysis, seizures and death by cyanide is very fast; In less than lethal doses, the substance causes vomiting, headache, dizziness, rapid breathing, low blood pressure, increased pulse and unconsciousness. Mining pollutes the air and produces sterile soils that prevent the resurgence of life.

I addition to all this damage, taxes paid for mining there are very little and mining generate only 1% of employment in Colombia. With the small royalties that are collected by the mining operation, the environmental, human and social damages caused are not compensated. Although the mining activity in Paramos is prohibited in Colombia but licenses for exploitation continue to be given.Several towns such as Cajamarca-Tolima have resisted allowing mining to enter their territories. Through a popular consultation 98% of the inhabitants said NO to mining because the challenge is to protect our paramaos, jungles, rivers and mountains to protect our water, our life and our future.

Water belongs to all of us as a fundamental human right, pure, clean water; drinkable water. Because water is not negotiable, it is our treasure. Because life is not a business.Would you allow sacrificing so much water? Is it reasonable that the water of a whole country is destined for mining? Will gold mining improve the quality of life of Colombians if we destroy a paramo?

The conclusion is very simple, we must think first where the resources come from before consuming them, we must make responsible consumption, we must value our planet and the resources are vital for survival. There are traditional and ancestral forms for the extraction of Gold that do not harm the environment.

Now comes a huge challenge for researchers and engineers, we must find scientific and technological developments that respects the environment. It is to find alternatives that allow us to have a balance with nature because the nature is actually the source of life.

Additional Information

Name: Valeria Z.
Age: 14
Clubhouse: The Clubhouse @ Museo de los Niños
Location: Bogotá, Colombia
2522

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