On May 5th, nearly 70 residents of the middle Durance Valley territory in Alpes Haute Provence gathered in Oraison to officially establish the eco-union “Riverains Ensemble Durance.”
Dona Sayi, a resident of Les Mées, fears for her and her family’s health: “I moved to Dabisse in 2019, and my house is just a few meters away from apple trees. I am concerned about the potential impact of intensive pesticide spraying on my health and, most importantly, on the health of my two children.”
“We are all concerned about water pollution, particularly its scarcity. Our interests align with ecological concerns, which is why we define ourselves as an eco-union,” said Philippe Souder, a resident of Oraison.
A committee was formed to represent the eco-union of residents affected by intensive agro-industrial pesticide use. Three workshops were conducted to collectively address:
- The issues surrounding water pollution, resource protection, and ensuring access to safe drinking water.
- How to assess pesticide exposure (hair analysis, dust on windowsills, vegetables in our gardens, etc.).
- A broader list of demands that the eco-union can pursue in the short, medium, and long term.
Ten associations and the mayor of Oraison were present to support the establishment of the eco-union: Ecoraison, Terre de Liens Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Durance Luberon Verdon 2030, France Nature Environnement des Alpes de Haute-Provence, AMAP des Pénitents, Confédération Paysanne, Agir autrement, Collectif Intercommunal pour un retour en régie publique de l’eau, and others.
Concerned residents have launched a petition in an effort to change spraying practices that pose risks to their health, water, and ecosystems. They are demanding pre-alerts and transparency regarding the products used.
This article has been translated from French. See the orignal version here.