In Cinangka, Indonesia, a playground near the primary school was so toxic that parts of the field had lead levels that measured 123 times above the World Health Organization (WHO) standard.
Hundreds of children were exposed to lead poisoning every day, running around on the field, sometimes barefoot. (Read about the “Who Can Put Shoes on the Fastest?” game)
Something needed to be done fast.
So Pure Earth experts decided to “bury” the problem using a process called encapsulation.
We dug a big hole in the soccer field and encased over 2,500 cubic meters of highly contaminated soil in a double-lined geo-membrane, covering it with clay and a thick layer of limestone rock. Even though the contaminated soil remains at the site, it no longer poses a health risk. All this was done for under $10 a resident.
By demonstrating to the local government that cleanup can be quick and low-cost, we have opened the way for more work at other contaminated sites across the country.
Now the children of Cinangka have their wish – a soccer field that will not poison.
Read the full Cinangka Project Completion Report (pdf)