Written by Michella Sassine
Translated by Daisy Khalil
Environmental pollution in the town of Chekka makes it uninhabitable, and forces its residents to exude toxins and odors and leave the city amid total absence of official action.
Chekka is the most polluted city in the caza of Batroun since it is the center of companies and cement plants.
The people of Chekka are fed up with their town's ecological problems and with its environment loaded with toxic substances which cause cancer and various other lung problems. The long-lasting controversy between the residents and owners of businesses, particularly the National Cement Plant, remain in vain despite all the threats.
In this context, the President of Chekka Development Council and its mayor, Arz Fadous, said Chekka is not as polluted as some try to show it. "It recently turned out that Kesrwan is much more polluted than Chekka due to the presence of the power plant in Zouk Mikael," he said.
Tackling the issue of the National Cement Plant, Fadous said the situation was improving by 60% after having set up filters for odors and having cleaned the areas around the factory.
"We need environmental and tourism projects with major economic revenues," he said, stressing that the Development Council, in collaboration with the city's dignitaries, are working to expand the residential area and the green zones, and to take advantage of the beautiful coast to set up new beneficial projects.
Fadous further accused the ministers of Health and Environment of neglecting the region.
For their part, the people of Chekka say they would not allow the civilized image of the city to be tarnished, demanding development projects and political intervention in this regard.