• September 12, 2023

MACCEM, ROCKCEM undermine govt. Climate Change efforts

MACCEM, ROCKCEM undermine govt. Climate Change efforts
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The unfriendly industrial activities being meted out on communities in the East End of Freetown by MACCEM industries and its closed door neighbour, ROCKCEM, are largely undermining government’s climate change campaign.

The state’s national effort in the mitigation of environmental degradation and Climate Change campaign has come under serious attacks by unpatriotic industrialists’ wealth creation drives especially cement product importers in the capital city of Freetown. ROCKCEM and MACCEM cement factories are notorious for always suffocating the environment through their dangerous pollution using harmful chemical wastes, gas and limestone and clinker dusts from their cement manufacturing processes. These have led to the deaths of dozens if not hundreds of community residents in their operational locations.

As a matter of imperial facts, Bai Bureh Road starting from the aged-old Bormeh dumpsite though not an isolated area yet, should not have  been transformed to cement manufacturing factories by government and its local private sector partners, ROCKCEM and MACKCEM cement factories, in the east of Freetown.

ROCKCEM and MACKCEM cement factories’ unsafe industrial activities since their inceptions to date, continue to cause major health problems including lungs and heart complications for the people in the operational communities in question.

Damages largely characterised by noise and air pollution are caused by the operations of both companies under the watchful regulatory mandates of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ministry of Environment among others.

In fact, residents of Ferry Junction, Janneh Wright Road, Blackhall Road, Peace Market, Bai Bureh Road, Up Gun, staff and pupils of Government Municipal Secondary School, the Door Christian Fellowship Church among a host of other communities within ROCKCEM and MACKCEM’s operational areas are no strangers to complications of severe lungs and heart diseases due to their activities, under the watch of government in the unpatriotic name of investment.

Pollutions from clinker and linestone dusts produced from the operations of both MACCEM and ROCKCEM cement factories’ plants, have always wreaked dangerous environmental havocs on those communities. They are known for their persistent but unacceptable release of toxic cement dusts and gas at passers-by and residents of these communities.

That must be corrected now or be put on hold until perfect industrial installations are identified by government through the appropriate agencies for the relocation of MACCEM and ROCKCEM cement factories.

Government and their private sector investors know very well those factories should not have been installed in densely populated communities like where ROCKCEM and MACCEM are presently located. Thus President Julius Maada Bio should prevail on the situation making sure that communities affected by the unfriendly environmental operations of ROCKCEM and MACCEM get a bit of respite and a sigh of relief with fresh air.

Much as we continue to welcome and commend President Bio’s moves wooing world leaders and securing funds for our national efforts in the mitigation of climate change to save our environment, government through the line ministries, departments and agencies supervised by the Office of the President should equally up their game to make sure that the needful interventions to save the environment and the lives of residents of those communities are effected.

That East Enders are also Sierra Leoneans governed by a pro-people leader called President Julius Maada Bio. They too voted for you in the June 24 polls, Mr President, and do deserve your warmest fatherly protection as a government under your leadership.

So, President Bio save your people now from the unsafe environmental operations of MACCEM and ROCKCEM cement factories whose proceeds are being remitted into their offshore accounts abroad, leaving Sierra Leone dead broke, with a dying population and economy.

Besides, MDAs and the recently formed Unit/Department chaired by Dr Yumkella are being paid huge sums of money by the Government of Sierra Leone from taxpayers’ money to save the earth from sliding into further environmental damage such as those being caused by ROCKCEM and MACCEM cement factories to the detriment of the health of whole communities.

The operations of these cement factories continue unchecked and unregulated as if they have been certified by the Ministry of Environment, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Environment of the Freetown City Council and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, to inflict health damages on the people.

Also as per law, charged with the task of protecting the people from probable health snags, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation remains deadly mute about the operations of ROCKCEM and MACCEM cement factories for God knows why. Or have all these agencies including the Office of the President been bought by the two cement factories to keep sealed lips, deaf ears and turn blind eyes to their unfriendly environmental activities?

FORUM NEWS SL is curious to know the level government’s concerns about the situation at the aforesaid communities before we launch a full scale environmental campaign to name and shame the appropriate duty bearers who seem to have compromised the respective terms of references of their jobs.

The health ministry cannot say they are not aware of the unfriendly environmental industrial operation that continues to unfold in the said communities. Nobody also expects the Environmental Department of the Municipality Management of the Freetown City Council to have turned blind eyes to the level of environmental damages currently taking place in that part of the city.

FORUM NEWS SL knows that there are laws governing the location and industrial operations of factories, and the FCC and other central government agencies should therefore collectively be seen enforcing these laws without being selective.

Moving forward they are also expected to propose the relocation of these companies to more suitable locations out of the Freetown municipality, with better environmental policy formulation put in place to be properly regulating the operations of MACCEM and ROCKCEM cement factories.

…More on the issue in the Wednesday, 13th September, 2023 and subsequent editions.

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