Condimentum Vestibulum Vulputate Fringilla
The 1,078-kilometer-long Huai has its source in the Tongbai Mountains in the southern part of Henan Province. Tongbai Mountains, Henan Province, November 2011
Eighty-year-old Mr. Wang casts his green nets in the middle of the Huai, pulling them back into the boat minutes later. Henan Province, November 2011
Henan Province, November 2011
Many inhabitants of a village very close to the "Black River" have fallen ill. Some of them, who used to be in the best of health, lost the use of half of their body from one day to the next. Others have contracted cancer, like Mr. Jia. The sixty-eight-year-old speaks softly and says that he can barely eat and drink any more. The money he earns from growing vegetables is not enough to buy the expensive medicines he needs. His seven adult children do not support him financially. Min Yang, seven, listens to his grandfather with a solemn expression. Henan Province, November 2011
Henan Province, November 2011
A dam was built in Jinzhai in the 1950s to lessen the flow of the Huai and prevent flooding. The resulting Xianghongdian Reservoir provides drinking water. Along with Foziling and Meishan, the Xianghongdian is one of the largest reservoirs on the Huai. The dams, built during the Great Leap Forward promoted by Mao Zedong, are dilapidated and in urgent need of reinforcement. Jinzhai, Anhui Province, February 2011
Mr. Yi, fifty-eight, has been out in his small boat looking for fish in the Kui River, but today he is once again unsuccessful. The pollution has killed all the fish. Mr. Yi does not know if and when he will be able to fish again. Anhui Province, August 2011
Anhui Province, February 2011
On the way from Jinzhai to Fuyang. Sand is extracted from the banks of the Huai and loaded onto barges. It is then used to make concrete at one of the country's countless construction sites. A new bridge can be seen in the background. Never in history has a country invested so much in transportation projects as present-day China. Anhui Province, February 2011
Cormorant fisherman on the river Quan. The birds dive for fish, and a system of rings and strings on their necks prevent them from swallowing their prey. Fuyang, Anhui Province, February 2011
Mrs. Cheng, fifty-seven, Mrs. Lu, sixty-eight, and Mrs. Yi, fifty-eight (from left to right) explain that there used to be a chemical plant not far from their village of Xiao Cheng. It used to blow red dust into the air, and this dyed the trees, houses, and animals red. First the plants died, and then the animals. Numerous villagers fell ill, and forty died. A few men from the village complained on behalf of the community to the company who ran the factory. These men were then paid a sum of money in compensation but did not pass it on to the villagers, keeping it for themselves. It was not until the village women presented themselves at the factory that the money reached all the villagers. Now another factory near the village produces plastic bags. Even though the stench from the factory can be smelled in the village, it is said that the situation is better than it was ten to fifteen years ago. Anhui Province, August 2011
Pollution in the Yun River. Anhui Province, August 2011
A children's drawing on the wall of a house on the bank of the Grand Canal (Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal). Jiangsu Province, March 2012
Mr. Tang, sixty-five, lives on a canal that flows into the Huai from the city of Bengbu. About five years after the canal was built (a good thirty years ago) foam bubbles up to a meter wide have been rising to the surface. Illness and death rates in his village have been on the rise ever since the pollution started. In 2005, when journalists from the CCTV state broadcasting station were traveling through the village, Mr. Tang stopped their cars and begged them from his knees to test the water in the canal. But the villagers had to keep drinking the groundwater until 2008, when they finally received access to running water. For two of Mr. Tang's brothers and an uncle, this measure came too late; they died of cancer in 2001, 2002, and 2005. Anhui Province, November 2011
Young Mr. Feng, seventeen, works as a truck mechanic in a small workshop near the port of Lianyungang. Jiangsu Province, March 2012
The train crosses the Yangtze just outside Nanjing. The Huai joins the Yangtze not far from here. Jiangsu Province, March 2012
Near the city of Yangzhou a branch of the Huai River joins the Yangtze. Men and women are carrying bundles of reeds weighing twenty kilograms to a barge moored by the bank. the reeds will be used to make paper. Jiangsu Province, March 2012
After a good thousand kilometers, part of the Huai reaches the Yellow Sea via a canal. Jiangsu Province, March 2012