Coordinator of the “Stop Pollution” campaign, Kheireddine Dbia, on Friday, raised the alarm over the disappearance of 2,000 tonnes of ammonitrate in the Gabes industrial zone and called for the release of reports on the safety and protection of this industrial zone.
“The pollution thresholds in the Gabes industrial zone could cause an explosion like that of March 13, 2021,” Dbia warned during a press conference at the headquarters of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) in Tunis.
In March 2021, an asphalt tanker exploded in the industrial zone of Gabes, in south-eastern Tunisia, killing six people and injuring one, besides the material damage it caused.
The official called for the recent investigations into the disappearance of more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate to be made public. “This disappearance poses a threat to national security because of the possibility of using ammonitrate to make explosives,” he said.
The Ministry of Industry should also complete the dismantling of the polluting phosphogypsum production units in Gabes, in accordance with the decisions of the Cabinet meeting of June 29, 2017.
NGOs concerned by the pollution problems in Gabes will be protesting in the coming days to put pressure on the authorities to take more decisive action to save the city.
These authorities are not taking seriously the dangerous pollution file in Gabes, says the official, calling on the Tunisian Chemical Group and the Ministry of Industry to verify compliance with safety standards in the industrial zone, which could be the scene of an environmental disaster and threaten the safety of the entire area and its inhabitants.
The “Stop Pollution” campaign will continue to mobilise the public to «put an end to environmental crimes in Tunisia and to fight for an alternative development plan that respects the environment, which is the basis of human rights,» he said in conclusion.
Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP)