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The pollution problem

Pollution from a cement plant is the latest instance of environmental impunity

Today’s front pages in Maputo. Photo credit: Faizal Chauque / Zitamar News

Good afternoon. The Dugongo cement factory south of Maputo is belching out limestone dust from one of its chimneys, due to a malfunction; the issue poses no danger to public health, the company claims, so long as people keep their doors and windows closed, and/or wear face masks.

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The factory has a highly dubious history, having been originally developed by the notorious China International Fund in partnership with Frelimo holding company SPI. Its political connections are probably what allowed it not to publish, or perhaps even carry out, an Environmental Impact Assessment; and allowed it to abuse the human rights of its workers, as exposed by Zitamar’s Tom Bowker for Vice News in 2021.

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