Banana plantations in Mindanao apply toxic fungicide to their crops by using small agricultural planes to spray the chemicals. The pesticide drift finds its way to communities near banana plantations, contaminating their water resources, laundry and leaving residues on backyard vegetable gardens. Children on their way to nearby schools are often exposed to the aerial spray.
The Department of Health in 2007 released a study showing significant medical risks to repeated exposure to aerial spray. It has since called for the ban of the dangerous practice, together with the Commission on Human Rights.
In Davao City, the affected communities, together with support from civil society groups, has successfully lobbied for the passage of a Ban Aerial Spraying Ordinance. Davao now joins three other cities and municipalities in Mindanao who have outlawed the practice.
However, in many areas, the practice still persists. Hence, the fight to safeguard the health and environment from the deadly effects of the toxic shower still continues.