Padaeng establishes the Quality of Life Development Foundation, to support sustainable development in the local community, with funding of 10 million Baht.
Mr. Vinij Ongnegnun, Deputy Managing Director of Padaeng Industry Public Company Limited, announced the establishment of the Padaeng Quality of Life Development Foundation. The Foundation?s objectives are to improve quality of life in rural areas and underprivileged communities, to support education and athletic programs, and to collaborate with other charitable organizations for further public welfare. Currently, its main focus is to support research that will contribute to the sustainable development of local communities, particularly those in cadmium-contaminated areas in Mae Sot district of Tak province. The foundation was registered in February with funding of Bt 10 million from the company.
According to Mr. Vinij, the Foundation will aim its support efforts towards activities that improve quality of life in areas including economy, public health, education, and environment. In the past, even before formally creating Foundation, the company sponsored many research studies by various academic institutions to address local problems. More specifically, a study by the National Research Center for Environmental and Hazardous Waste Management investigated the cause of cadmium contamination of soil and the process of cadmium absorption in rice crops; a study by Chulalongkorn University?s faculty of Medicine measured the amounts of cadmium uptake from food and water by the local risk group. On top of that, in order to meet the healthcare needs of the local community, the company has set up the Sixtieth Jubilee Health Fund and allows local residents to participate in the fund?s management.
Even though studies of cadmium contamination in Mae Tao basin areas in Tak province by academic and government agencies have mostly concluded that the cadmium originated from a natural geological process and predated mining activities, efforts to rehabilitate the area and improve quality of life for the local communities must continue.
To that end, the company has constantly collaborated with various agencies to find solutions, especially in the areas of occupation and health. Nevertheless, the next phase in resolving the problems for the long term will require technical knowledge? Mr. Vinij said.