Residents of Belarusian village protest against air-polluting plant

Завод беленай цэлюлозы ў Светлагорску. Фота: Greenbelarus

Residents of the Yakimava Slabada village complain of air pollution by the local pulp and paper mill. People say they “cannot breathe”.

The locals have already asked the officials to solve the problem. According to journalist Larysa Shchyrakova, the Deputy Minister of health was supposed to visit the village, that’s why the locals gathered for a spontaneous picket.

Among the main complaints of the villagers was the unpleasant smell coming from the plant which causes, according to people, sore throat and cough, and some even had nose blood. The locals demanded that there was continuous environmental control of the enterprise to minimize harmful emissions.

Publié par Ларыса Шчыракова sur jeudi 4 Janvier 2018

The plant for production of sulphated bleached pulp was built in the frame of the Belarusian-Chinese investment agreement. The general contractor is the Chinese corporation SAMSE.

It was supposed to be build back in 2015. In 2017, after long disputes, Chinese contractors began replacing the rejected cable products.

On November 7, the plant was set up for launch. In November, unofficial information appeared twice that the company would be visited by Alyaksandr Lukashenka, but it never happened. The launch of the new plant in Svetlahorsk was reported by China in December 2017.

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