Water Forum 2011: Huai River Pollution and Public Participation in Environment Protection

By Zhou Xiang


GAH is located in Anhui Province, which is in the Central-East area of China. The Huai River in the north and the Yangtze River in the south have divided Anhui Province into three areas.

GAH started on Sep 24 2003 and registered in December 2008. It aims to focus on the water protection in Anhui Province, environment protection education and promotion. In 8 years, GAH has developed into 3 offices, 8 full time employees, 6 part-time employees and 2 interns. WEC is an on-going subsidiary of GAH. Our mission is to awake, aware and promote relevant environmental actions, public education to stimulate the sustainable development in Anhui Province.

GAH set up GAH foundation in March 2011. GAH also set up a GAH center for environmental protection on 24 Sep 2003 as the first folk environmental protection organization.

Basic Information about Huai River

HCCP was set up in July 2006. It includes the positioning and inspection of pollution sources, environmental appeal of polluted villages and public participation in green action. More specifically, GAH targeted those polluted rivers and areas, took direct actions, monitored the governmental policies relating to environmental protection and their implementation, promoted the information transparency, stimulated the relevant polluting factories to improve their production and emission methods and improved the 3rd party auditing of those performances. At the same time, GAH aims to establish relevant mechanism for public participation, involvement and action, raise the public awareness of environmental health. In addition, we aim to reduce the influence towards human beings’ health.

Since 2006, about 5 organizations have taken part in subsidizing our program in different levels.

GAH’s major working area is in and around Bangbu City.

Positioning and Inspection of Polluting sources

Our work focused on chemical and paper making industries after considering their significant environmental influences, their positions in the entire industry structure and their influences towards people living around.

GAH started inspection from Huainan City and all the inspected city are included in “Huai River Water Pollution Prevention Scheme (2006-2010)”.

GAH’s inspecting methodologies include inspecting those factories and villages that had been specifically addressed in national and provincial records.

GAH’s inspection included positioning, factual understanding, information collecting, villages visiting and so on. The three photos have shown our inspection towards some major factories during July and August in 2010.

GAH has summarized two tables about all the information collected and set up future action plans targeting each factory.

Positioning of Pollution Source

GAH has used several methods in achieving the positioning job. It includes designing trails, site visits, information reorganization, and GPS positioning.

The relevant follow-up included continuing the set up of environmental protection network, training student organizations, improving the detailed data collection work. They aimed to copy the model of Qiugang village. GAH worked with IPE, stressed the government in monitoring and auditing suspected factory production, made a ranking and black listed several companies in order to find a typical for media publication.

Environmental Appeal of polluted villages

“The Warriors’ of Qiugang” has been nominated as the best documentary in the 83rd Oscar. Through the efforts of various channels, GAH has ensured that the pollution problem will be finally settled down in March 2011.

GAH has now taken a series of actions towards the polluted villages in Anhui Province.

Environmental rights and litigation

GAH has recruited professional lawyers to deal with relevant legal issues. GAH has cooperated with several law firms and held some training about environmental law and practice.

GAH’s most outstanding achievement was its proposal about stop fishing in Huai River area that was proposed in January 2007.

Public Participation in Green Action

The most significant case is that children in Huaining Anhui Province had more lead in their blood than the normal standard due to the pollution of a paper making company. The municipal government has been greatly involved in this case and therefore they have got deserved punishment after GAH’s reporting and pressing.


GAH aims to finally pursue the sustainable development of relevant companies through facts collection, government communication, site visits and media publication. The more detailed methods including cooperation, promotion with ECO-Paper and actions.

Thus, some paper making factories with production under 5000000 tons were required closing due to government policies. The other larger ones turned better but still left some unsolved problems.

Chao Lake Protection

The main functions of Chao Lake include restoring flood, providing water to local people, aquaculture, developing logistics and cleaning water, adjusting climate and maintaining creature diversity. The main problems faced by Chao Lake include low volume, emission of polluted water, the widely use of fertilizer and soil erosion.

GAH Action

GAH has designed the “map of pollution in Chao Lake Area”, calculated the water emission trail of two companies, applied for information publication of 20 companies and conducted 3rd party auditing of 2 polluting factories.

GAH also organized a 100-people volunteer team, set up environment education base in 4 primary/middle school, developed several training activities.

GAH also provide guide in applying for information publication, set up 2 law firms in dealing with environment protection appeals.

GAH also started 12 promotion activities, and fertilizer using inspection actions.




Documenting/文字記錄: Emma Wu, Lilian Hou


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