Namibians March against Toxic Bulgarian Concentrates*Views on BG | November 28, 2011, Monday // 14:50| views
The residents of Tsumeb on Friday held a peaceful demon- stration demanding the immediate halt of the import of the Bulgarian copper concentrates. Photo by Oswald Shivute/The Namibian
By Oswald Shivute at Tsumeb
Residents of Tsumeb on Friday demonstrated, demanding the immediate halt of copper concentrate imports for refining at the Namibia Custom Smelters (NCS). They also called on the Government to ban the import of copper, especially from Bulgaria.
The demonstration was led by Swapo regional coordinator for the Oshikoto Region Armas Amukwiyu and joined by some Oshikoto regional councillors and the senior headman of Oshivelo Traditional District, Nation Nashikaku.
In their petition read by Lemmy Geingob which was later handed over to Regional Councillor Lebius Tobias, the demonstrators detailed the reasons for their demonstration.
They said the Bulgarian copper concentrate has a high concentration of toxins, which is very dangerous to people's health.
They said it has been indicated in a recent "credible" report that there is a serious issue of dangerous pollutants being released into the atmosphere and damaging people's health. They also express fear of their underground water being polluted.
"The time has come for us to determine and apply some corrective measures to the current situation," the petition said.
They also demanded for the immediate stop to the operations of the smelter.
They further called for compensation of workers that have been exposed to arsenic and other similar toxin agents.
The demonstrators said that all current workers of the NCS and any other willing resident of Tsumeb should have a complete medical check-up by an independent and unbiased medical body, preferable from overseas.
NCS, they said, should be held liable and accountable for the "irreversible damage" done to Namibia's ecosystem.
Legal steps should be taken against NCS for "purposely importing dangerous substances rejected and condemned by the rest" of the world.
Accepting the petition, Councillor Tobias said he is also concerned about this issue, and promised that he will forward the petition to the Office of the Oshikoto governor Penda yaNdakolo for his immediate attention.
*The title of the article has been changed by the Editorial Staff of Novinite.com
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