Stop the pollution causing the death of millions of Lebanese people and Mediterraneans

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We demand Holcim, Cimenterie Nationale du Liban and Sabaa cement plant and quarry in Chekka, North Lebanon to reduce its toxic pollution spree and that our ministers execute the law as stipulated in Act 444.

A long-running battle to reduce toxic pollution and other impacts from these cement plants and quarries in Chekka, North Lebanon is yet to come to an end. This issue remains a looming threat for residents and government officials couldn’t care less. For more than a decade, residents from Chekka and Koura district have called upon the Lebanese government to take action against Holcim, Cimenterie Nationale du Liban and Sabaa for their direct involvement in destroying the environment through its often illegal quarrying and mining activities and for its release of high amounts of sulfur dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. All of this considered to be behind the many cancer cases and deaths in the region. The cancer is touching the whole region along the coast till the Iskandarona bay in Turkey.

Holcim are among the largest emitters of greenhouse gases worldwide together with other fossil fuel companies and cement producers. According to a recent study published by Green Globe, a leading environmentalist organisation, Chekka occupies first place as the most polluted area in Lebanon. Toxic pollution as we all know spares no one. It effects the air we breathe, the water we drink and the cycle of life in general.

Till now, the ministry of health refuses to release cancer data and statistical publications based on regional analysis. Not to mention the ministry of environment which is in one way or another implicated in failing to disclose air quality data readings and forecasts. These are crucial information that should be accessible to the public.

Act 444 states that “every citizen has the right to have access to information related to the environment in accordance with the laws and regulations in force”

This is not the first time cement companies have been involved in illegal quarrying. Holcim are “high priority violators” for non-compliance. “Holcim violations range from failing to fill out forms, to being contemptuous of some of the most basic rules that govern air pollution emissions” and failing to comply with regulations and for fixing prices. To read more on this, please go to the following link:

www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Documents/TableOffice/TabledPapers/2010/5310T2432.pdf

According to reliable sources, there are around 1300 quarries in full swing that don’t have permits or approvals across the country. All happening under the vigilant eye of the Lebanese government. More than 2 million trees alone have been uprooted due to quarrying operations and the ministry of agriculture has made no attempt to prosecute the perpetrators. The minister of environment added insult to injury by admitting openly to a public audience that the quarrying sector “is full of corruption”. This state of madness and lawlessness has to come to an end. It is about time that our health and the environment are made top priority from our political representatives and government officials. Let your voice be heard!!!

By signing this petition, you can help build a more positive momentum for a cleaner healthier tomorrow.

 


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