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Outcry over Chinese cement factory pollution

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Outcry over Chinese cement factory pollution

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SYDNEY MUBAIWA
MIDLANDS BUREAU

REDCLIFF – Stone Clare residents in the dormitory town of Redcliff have raised concern over cement dust pollution from a nearby Chinese cement manufacturing factory, Livetouch which produces diamond cement.
The residents who spoke to The Mirror said the spewing clouds of dust and fumes are a health hazard.
“As Stone Clare residents, we are living under a health hazard. We inhale cement dust each day and the problem has affected some of us.
“We have been at loggerheads with the cement producer for many years but nothing has changed so far ,” said a resident, John Phiri.
Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Kwekwe district officer, Daniel Magombedze confirmed receiving reports from the residents over the issue.
“Yes we received complaints from Stone Clare residents in Redcliff over dust pollution coming from the cement manufacturing plant.
“The problem was first attended to in September last year and we made observations.
“The company was ordered to submit its action plan stating their mitigation measures which include among others tree planting and paving of their roadways,“ he said.
He said they made a follow-up in November last year to assess compliance but nothing from the action plan was implemented.
“As EMA, we again made follow-ups in November and December and most recently in February this year. Findings on the ground indicated that they were reluctant to adhere to the action plan,” he said.
He said last year, the company was fined US$5000 for failing to comply with emissions standards.
Redcliff Mayor, Vincent Masiiwa said they held a meeting with the cement company on Wednesday afternoon over the matter.
‘We held a meeting with the company management and they have promised to deal the pollution issue.
“The plant seems to be OK but there is dust surrounding the plant and their roads normally caused by haulage trucks ferrying cement. This dust then affects nearby residents especially those at Stone Clare area.
“The company has promised to put measures in place to deal with this dust pollution and we shall continuously monitor Livetouch as a local authority,” he said.
Livetouch spokesperson, George Makonese said they are working hard to address the dust pollution.
“We have been issued with tickets by EMA and we are currently working hard to address the issue. We have transferred our dump site to a place which is far away from the residential areas and we are going to continue doing all the best so that we work together with the residents,” he said.
He said the company was going to plant gum trees which will serve as dust traps, pave the roadways and address other sources of dust pollution.
According to health experts, fumes and dust compromise air quality which in turn affects the skin, eyes , lungs and the nasal passage.
Continuous exposure to dust and gases, smoke and fumes can lead to illnesses like asthma, mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis among other respiratory diseases.

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