VENEZUELA: Caracas Residents Affected by Cement Plants
Residents of Chuao, a neighborhood in southeast Caracas, are protesting against a cement plant installed near their homes which releases large amounts of harmful particulates into the air they breathe.
CARACAS, May 14 (Tierramérica).- The protest has highlighted the air pollution problems being caused by another five cement plants in strategic locations for the circulation of winds over the Venezuelan capital.
“We can’t open our apartment windows or cook in peace because the cement dust comes in and makes us sick,” neighborhood activist Irais Gruber told Tierramérica. Gruber is a member of a group that has staged protests at intersections in Chuao, wearing surgical masks and holding up signs with slogans like “No Cement Plants” and “The Dust is Killing Us”.
The plants were installed by the government to speed up low-cost housing construction, but doctors and environmentalists warn that they are increasing the lead, silica, calcium, iron and manganese content of the air in the capital.
Neighborhood activists from the areas affected are meeting to step up their demands for these plants to be moved to locations far away from homes, schools and hospitals.