Permanent Secretary for Environment, Joshua Wycliffe says they have handled complaints raised by Lami residents regarding dust emissions by Tengy Cement and the other cement factory, and when they have found breaches, they have immediately clamped down by issuing prohibition or stop work notices.
Wycliffe gave the clarification after People’s Alliance Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka said a recent article highlighting the extreme pollution in Lami from Chinese investors, Tengy Cement Company reflects the poor attitude the Government has towards protecting our environment.
Rabuka says the Government has created a lot of noise about COP26 and what did or did not happen but doesn’t seem to be able to comprehend this fight for our environment must start at home.
He says Tengy Cement Company pays nothing in duty for all their manufacturing plant and equipment (as an incentive for investors) yet residents in the area are suffering from health problems such as skin and eye irritations due to the dust emissions from exposure to clinker, a major ingredient in cement making.
Rabuka says despite two stop work orders issued over 2020 and 2021 and numerous protests by residents, the factory continues to operate.
However Permanent Secretary for Environment, Joshua Wycliffe says they do not condone breaches and the Monitoring Committee is acting quickly to ensure the cement factories do not breach the conditions.
He says if there are breaches, they immediately give the companies prohibition or stop work orders.
Rabuka also says shockingly, the same company, which has a second factory in the West, is applying for a Special Prospecting License under the Mining Act in Rakiraki.
He asks how can we allow a foreign company that has blatantly disregarded their responsibility to our environment and people to continue to increase its footprint in our country.
Wycliffe clarifies there is no Environment Impact Assessment process screening application from Tengy Cement in relation to the prospecting license.
We are currently trying to speak to Tengy Cement.
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