The town of eternal stench
When Naples found itself under piles of rubbish early last year, the whole world knew about it. But in comparison with what you're about to see, those rubbish piles no longer look that monstrous. Read more...
Issued on: Modified:
When Naples found itself under piles of rubbish early last year, the whole world soon knew about it. But in comparison with what you're about to see, those rubbish piles no longer look that monstrous.
Residents of Hongshang village on the outskirts of Wuhan, central China, have been holding their noses for almost five years now. Photographer and blogger Wang Haofeng decided to visit the stinking town to capture some real-life revulsion. And it wasn't hard to find.
Endless piles of garbage are burning by the river at the entrance of the district. A foul smelling odour comes from the thick smoke and the ash from the burning plastic drifts into the village with the wind. Residents, students, women and children who pass by are wretched; revolted to the point of tears.
Passengers on motorbikes are obliged to put their hand over the driver's mouth. And those who drive alone are helpless, riding with their eyes closed. College students use their clothes to cover their mouths and noses, quickly running through the ‘blockade'... There are bottleneck flies everywhere.
Daily waste from the district is dumped on the outskirts of the area. There's no proper refuse disposal system carried out by the authorities. So whenever waste piles up like a mountain and a dense mass of flies blocks the road, people set it alight in the hope of repelling the creatures. Sometimes it burns for several days. This technique has been in place for many years. The river next to the village is also full of waste."
“After a mass outcry from Web users, the Wuhan authorities were forced into taking action”
Wang Haofeng elaborates on his post:
The residents here know nothing but suffering. They've complained numerous times to the local government, but nothing has been done. There's a primary school, a university and a research institute in the area. This pollution is affecting them every day, even if - for the time being - nobody has fallen seriously ill.
The regional authorities told me that the residents don't pay their waste disposal taxes, so they can't afford to do it. They have to put the waste somewhere however, so they just dump it at the outskirts of the village.
When I posted the photos on my blog it created quite a reaction online. After a mass outcry from Web users [over 300 comments on this forum], the Wuhan authorities were forced into taking action. I heard that lorries arrived in the village to remove the waste."