Suwat Jutnai, 61 sits outside of his home in Fack Huay (Gok Sathon) village. Despite warnings from his neighbors, he continued to work in his contaminated rice fields in addition to eating the rice he harvested. Over the past 5 years, he has suffered progressive nerve damage and muscle atrophy from severe cyanide poisoning.
The village of Gok Sathon, known commonly as Fack Huay, was one of the hardest hit by chemical runoff, allegedly from Tungkum Ltd.'s gold mine. A high proportion of villagers complain of poor health and failing crops.
Suwat Jutnai, 61, continued to work in his rice paddies and eat his crops after it was revealed they are both contaminated with heavy metals, allegedly by chemical runoff from the goldmine. He has suffered severe nerve damage from cyanide poisoning and has lost full control of his motor skills due to progressive muscle atrophy.
Samai Pakmee, an activist leader in Na Nong Bong, takes a cigarette break outside of his house in the early moring. During the lead up to the court case, his home became a center for many activits, including a training on media and video production geared towards the youth in the village.
Suwat Jutnai's wife waters the plants outside their home in Fack Huay (Gok Sathon). The local TAO, or district government, now pipes in clean water to the affected villages at the insistence of the Ministry of Health.
Suwat Jutnai, 61, worked in rice fields filled with water that have been contaminated by chemicals since the opening of the Tunkum Ltd. gold mine. Locals suspect the contamination comes from the mine's chemical tailings pond. Pictured here, another resident of Fack Huay (Gok Sathon) walks over a contaminated creek to Jutnai's fields.
A Fack Huay (Gok Sathon) villager leads the way to the top of the hill where the Tungkum Ltd gold mine tailings pond lies. The road to the tailings pond is private and off limit to villagers.
Local teenagers take part in a youth media training to prepare for upcoming court dates where Na Nong Bong activists are facing charges levied by TKL. They are asking community members to take part in a video as a practice assignmen
Samai Pakmee is a prominent activist in Na Nong Bong. He stands in front of his house, which, in the leadup to the court cases, has provided a meeting space and training center for other activists.
Villagers in Na Nong Bong have created a road block which blocks Tungkum Ltd from carrying its products from the gold mine across to its factory. Volunteers (and scarecrows) from the villages guard the road block day and night.
Villagers from Na Nong Bong line up at the Loei courthouse. They have come en masse to support the village's defense in the criminal case levied against them by Tungkum Ltd.
Villagers from Na Nong Bong march towards the Loei courthouse. They have come en masse to support the village's defense in the criminal case levied against them by Tungkum Ltd.