During the month of October, we worked with the communities of Colonia Tirolesa and Falda del Carmen, two towns in Cordoba that for years suffer the consequences of the indiscriminate use of agrochemicals near populated areas. We accompany and support your claim trying to empower affected communities in the protection of health rights and a healthy environment.
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We participated in the “Agrochemicals, Health and Environment” Conference in Colonia Tirolesa
At the beginning of October, the “Agrochemicals, Health and Environment” conference was held in Colonia Tirolesa, a town located 27 km from the city of Córdoba, dedicated to agricultural activities, in particular to the production of potatoes, soybeans and corn.
The meeting was a good opportunity to continue learning from the communities that live near fields that are frequently sprayed with agrochemicals. During this meeting, members of the community had the opportunity to express their concerns and feelings about this problem, including the diseases that affect them.
In addition, members of the “Epidemiology Group of the Digna Science” of Córdoba and Buenos Aires, showed the results of the survey carried out through Socioenvironmental Health Surveys, carried out in May 2017 in the neighborhood of the Colonia Tirolesa station, in around 76 homes. The aim of the surveys is to contribute to the visibility of the health problems presented by populations exposed to socio-environmental risks and damages, thereby strengthening the fight against the hegemonic model of agricultural production.
One of the most striking results was that, in the last 20 years, the biggest causes of death in the neighborhood are malignant tumors (30%) and respiratory causes (22%), with cardiovascular diseases being the third (19 %), being that at the national level the latter is the main cause of death.
We participate in the meeting through the development of community capacities regarding their right to health and a healthy environment. María, Coordinator of the Environment area, was in charge of teaching these rights and the different ways in which members of the community are able to claim them.
An agronomist was also present at this multidisciplinary event. There, he explained to the community that there are alternative forms of production, which do not imply any damage to health or the environment. His talk focused on agroecological practices and how to apply those practices in the field.
It was a very mobilizing event, because although residents of Colonia Tirolesa knew that the excessive and uncontrolled use of agrochemicals could affect their health and environment, they had not taken real dimension of the problem, until they were shown the results of the health surveys. It was a good opportunity for them to take a real awareness of the dangers of being permanently exposed to these agricultural chemicals.
Visit to Falda del Carmen
In October, we also met with neighbors of Falda de Carmen, a small city near Córdoba Capital, which for some years has been demanding a municipal ordinance that creates an Environmental Conservation Zone to prohibit the use of agrochemicals in the fields to populated areas.
During the visit, they told us about their beginnings in this fight against rural entrepreneurs and agrochemicals, how they were organized in the Neighborhood Environmental Commission and the different actions taken to raise awareness and raise awareness in the commune about this problem that affects them.
From FUNDEPS we committed to help the community of Falda del Carmen in the development of advocacy strategies and to support their claims in order to strengthen their human rights to health and a healthy environment.
María Pérez Alsina, [email protected]