Live by a smelly river
A senior official from China’s top environmental authority told local officials in Shantou, Guangdong Province, to move to live by the black and smelly Lianjiang River, after he found during an inspection tour that local officials failed to rectify the contaminated river as they had promised, Xinhua reported.
Urging officials to live close to the polluted river may sound a bit unconventional, but it has the merit of making policy makers immediately sensitive to the misery of having to live daily by a foul river strewn with waste. It can put pressure on local authorities and urge them to come up with practical rectification strategies.
Previously, there have been challenges for officials to take a dip in or a sip from the polluted water.
Those tactics were nothing but jokes or stunts to draw public attention, if local authorities don’t start to act on their words and take serious actions to combat contamination.
Negligence and lip service is common when it comes to environmental issue. A recipe for quick cleanup is to confront irresponsible officials directly with the consequence of pollution.