Tunisians say no to pollution from Phosphogypsum

Tunisians protest against pollution from phosphogypsum

Hundreds of people have demonstrated in the Tunisian city of Gabes against the environmental pollution generated by the phosphogypsum discharged into the sea by phosphate processing plants.

Representatives of civil society and political parties gathered in front of the Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT), a public company operating phosphate mines in Ghannouch, demanding the immediate cessation of the discharge of phosphogypsum into the sea and the closure of this dump.

Crucial export industry
Renowned as a Mediterranean spawning ground, the Gulf of Gabes is highly polluted due to the extraction and processing of phosphates, a crucial export industry for Tunisia’s incomes.

One of the demonstrators Noureddine Boukhrissi said “the spontaneous popular movement of today is motivated by this catastrophe which for more than 25 years has thrown phosphogypsum into the sea.”

For him, “radical solutions must be found to ensure a healthy environmental future for future generations.”

Experts said chronic diseases such as cancer and asthma have appeared among the Gabes 150,000 inhabitants because of pollution.

Since the 2011 revolution, there have been calls for urgent action by the authorities.

africanews./Mercy Chukwudiebere