Friday, July 22, 2011
At Sime Darby Plantation: Workers Drink From Creeks, Dwell In Makeshift Structures
What amount to modern day slavery is reportedly taking place at Sime Darby Plantation in Grand Cape Mount County as workers of the Malaysian Company are still drinking from creeks and living in dilapidated structures erected
An investigation conducted by Green Advocates International at the weekend unearthed that the company’s staff are sleeping in makeshift structures and drinking from unsafe water sources contrary to its concession agreement entered with government.
Some employees and residents of Sime Darby Plantation during the visit said the company has failed to provide safe drinking waters for inhabitants of the various divisions.
They said the failure of the company to provide safe drinking water for its concession area is causing diarrhea and other skin disease among residents of the area.
“We have to travel for about ten minutes among rubber trees to fetch water from a nearby creek,” a female resident of Sime Darby Division # 9 who begged not to be named for fear of being dismissed said.
She said division # 9, which has a population of about 1, 500 persons lack a hand pump and only depend on the shallow running water that usually turned dirty during even hours.
The female staff noted that the creek serve as drinking water source and is used to cook and wash cloths.
She also disclosed that the company has apportioned more than two families to an apartment thus causing some family members to sleep in the kitchens of the buildings.
It was observed that residents especially children who fetch water from the creek have to stand in the water before dipping it into a buckets or containers.
Dirt and rubber tree leaves were observed in the creek, while residents were seen living a makeshift structures.
Disappointingly, residents of Zonton Town in Grand Cape Mount County are also said to be drinking from creeks.
Zonton Town Chief Sando Maluballah hinted that they are forced to drink from the running water due to the lack of hand pump in the community.
He noted that Sime Darby has refused to provide pump to the community.