By Morrison O.G. Sayon
The Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) has threatened to take legal action against the management of CEMENCO.
Addressing a news conference on Monday in Monrovia, the Commission through its Commissioner with oversight on Program Planning, James D. Torh said CEMENCO is seriously polluting the Belema Community near the Freeport of Monrovia thus, causing eye problem for many residents of the community.
According to Mr. Toh, many residents of the community have gone blind because of the prevailing situation obtaining in the community. Torh said during their tour in the Belema Community, many of the residents explained to them that there is a serious health hazard in the community that has caused some residents of the community to die while some have also gone blind.
Mr. Torh said one of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights’ mandate is to protect the rights of the citizens and as such the Commission will ensure that the rights of residents of Belema and other communities are protected and respected.
He said those affected by the CEMEMCO operations will be taken to the hospital to be diagnosed to authenticate their conditions before taking further action on their plight. “We have started holding discussion with residents of the community and were informed that some of their families died as a result of the cement dust,” Mr. Torh said.
He said the INCHR will conclude every arrangement with community dwellers this week to enable them begin legal action against CEMEMCO. “We saw cement dust on the zincs of the houses in the area and investigated it and proved to us that CEMENCO is causing health hazard in the community,” Mr. Torh disclosed.
According to Mr. Torh, he was informed that seven persons claimed that their families have died as a result of the cement dust. Belema community has the population of over 2,000 residents who are said to be facing serious health hazard.