Farmer Spends 16 Years Studying Law Just to Sue a Chemical Firm For “Polluting his Land”

A Chinese farmer reportedly spent 16 years teaching himself law just so he could sue a chemical company for allegedly “polluting his land.”

Wang Enlin, a Chinese farmer, spent 16 years studying law by himself so he could sue a chemical firm, Qihua Group, for “polluting his land.” According to the People’s Daily Online, Enlin has won the first instance in the high-profile case.

Wang and the Lawsuit

According to People’s Daily Online, Mr. Wang Enlin is a Chinese farmer in his 60s who lives in Yushutun village, on the outskits of Qiqihar in the Heilongjiang Province.

He reportedly only attended school till the third grade, until he dropped out. From 2001 till 2016, he studied law all by himself in order to sue the company that polluted his land.

After Enlin won the first instance in the case, the Qihua Group, whose assets are worth over two billion yuan (£233 million), appealed against the decision. However, Enlin said he is determined to seek justice for himself and his neighbours who apparently could no longer grow healthy crops due to the company’s contamination of their land.

Qihua Group’s Pollution Crime

According to Wang, in 2001, his land was flooded by toxic waste the Qihua Group discharged. He recalled it was the eve of the Lunar New Year, and he was playing cards and cooking dumplings with his neighbours.

He said that right then, the house they were in, which was located near the Qihua factory, was flooded by wastewater. He also said the wastewater flooded into part of the farmland in the village.

A government document from 2001 claimed the farmland consequently “can not be used for a long time.” Between 2001 and 2016, the Qihua group reportedly continued to dump the waste into the village, where residents heavily rely on agriculture for a living.

According to the report, the company discharged 15,000 to 20,000 tons of chemical waste per year.