Merebank residents facing health issues
Merebank residents are facing health problems due to emission of harmful toxins by petrochemical industries in the area.
Anushri Chetty, a 21 year old community member is one of the many residents living with respiratory issues.
“I have had asthma attacks since I was 5 years old and since then I have used asthma inhalers. My younger brother has problems with his eyes and they get itchy at times and that is due to the air pollution in the area,” said Chetty.
Engen refinery and Mondi paper mill are the industries in the area emitting high levels of sulphur dioxide.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is a high level of benzene detected near the Engen Refinery and it was 15 times higher than the guidelines provided by the World Health Organization. The agency added that the community is negatively affected by the air pollution as the quality of natural resources is reduced.
According to section 24 of the Constitution, people of all race have the right to an environment that will not cause harm to their health and the environment should be protected for the future generation.
“As a company, we have made significant investments over the last two decades to reduce our impact across various environmental aspects, including: air quality, waste water, solid waste, soil and groundwater,” said Engen in a statement.