Poster Title

Agents of Poor Water Quality in Carchi Province Ecuador

Institution

Western Kentucky University

Abstract

Twenty-two thousand people, primarily indigenous agrarians, live in the 100,000 hectares supplied by the river El Angel located in the northern highlands of the Carchi Province of Ecuador. The highly mineralized volcanic soils of the region are intensely used for the competitive potato-farming business. This rivalry for potato sales in the province lead to intense use of pesticides on the crops, in many instances seven applications per growing season. This study was conducted to understand the persistence of the poor water quality of the region leading to high skin cancer, and the highest colon and stomach cancer rates reported in Ecuador. An interview with Christopher James, the director of the Guandera Biological Station, located in the province, who is involved in local and regional health improvement councils was the primary source of the studies’ information. It was established that lack of farmer education, lack of success of cleaning and transport facilities, lack of aid from developed nations, resistance from environmentalists and the dehumanization of the indigenous population of the northern territory were the sources of the problem of water quality and lack of assistance given to the local communities attributed to the persistence of this issue.

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Agents of Poor Water Quality in Carchi Province Ecuador

Twenty-two thousand people, primarily indigenous agrarians, live in the 100,000 hectares supplied by the river El Angel located in the northern highlands of the Carchi Province of Ecuador. The highly mineralized volcanic soils of the region are intensely used for the competitive potato-farming business. This rivalry for potato sales in the province lead to intense use of pesticides on the crops, in many instances seven applications per growing season. This study was conducted to understand the persistence of the poor water quality of the region leading to high skin cancer, and the highest colon and stomach cancer rates reported in Ecuador. An interview with Christopher James, the director of the Guandera Biological Station, located in the province, who is involved in local and regional health improvement councils was the primary source of the studies’ information. It was established that lack of farmer education, lack of success of cleaning and transport facilities, lack of aid from developed nations, resistance from environmentalists and the dehumanization of the indigenous population of the northern territory were the sources of the problem of water quality and lack of assistance given to the local communities attributed to the persistence of this issue.