Coca-Cola's Attack on Mehdiganj Villagers | Story of Stuff
petition at link above.
Coca-Cola is determined to drain the village of Mehdiganj, India, dry despite a government order to shut down the plant for using too much water and violating pollution limits. According to Indian authorities, the groundwater level in the village has gone from “safe” to “over-exploited” -- the worst designation of groundwater, before it dries up completely --in the time the Coke plant has been operating.
Mehdiganj villagers have been protesting against the Coke plant for years. The villagers' protests have escalated as their wells have dried up, forcing them to walk ever-greater distances for fresh water. As the water level drops, crop yields are dropping with it, sucking out the economic basis of the village and endangering the livelihoods of thousands of residents. Meanwhile, Coke has spent much of this year pressing for a massive expansion of the plant that would increase water use by five times. The company has shown that it is totally disconnected from the danger it is imposing on the village.
Studies conducted by both the Indian government agencies and independent organizations have found that Coke has located many of its plants in water-stressed areas of India and bottling operations in these areas have threatened groundwater in many places. Furthermore, Coke plants have also been caught polluting the surroundings and selling toxic waste to unsuspecting farmers to be used as fertilizer.
Water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource around the world. Many corporations argue that they are free to use as much water as they want, even if it makes entire areas uninhabitable.
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