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ASBESTOS: 2,137 EDC/EX-CHA HOUSES IN 60 REGIONS OF THE ISLAND WILL BE PULLED DOWN SOON !

Ahmad Macky

ASBESTOS: 2,137 EDC/EX-CHA HOUSES IN 60 REGIONS OF THE ISLAND WILL BE PULLED DOWN SOON !

Many houses of the EDC/CHA types constructed during the 1960’s with asbestos will be soon destroyed for safety and health measures against aggressive cancer. These houses are situated in the 60 regions across the island. Some of them were built before the Carol cyclone. The government has an action plan to deal with this matter urgently as precautionary measures for the inhabitants in those houses not to develop cancer of the lungs and brains.

The Confederation of Private Sector Workers ( CPSW) has promised a revelation in the World Day seminar for the safety and Health precautions at work which will be held soon. The CPSW will also draw the attention of the World Day seminar of the danger of asbestos on the health of people that reside in houses containing asbestos.

Several ministries such as Environment, Housing, Social Integration, Health and Public Infrastructure in collaboration with NGO  are working currently on an action plan. There should be a way to find a solution to families living in these 2,137 contaminated houses with asbestos. This action plan is partly consisting of the re-lodging of those vulnerable families facing such danger as soon as possible within the shortest time available.

There is a study on the way about how to assess the problems and conditions these families are facing region by region: “ Il faudra determiner ou reloger ces familles. Certains proprietaries de ces habitations sont decédés et parfois les heritiers sont en conflit. Comment determiner les beneficiaires actuels ? C’est un long processus a entre prendre. Nous invitons ces familles a prendre leur mal en patience.”, explained someone responsible from the communication service of the Ministry of Housing and Lands. The Ministry has in fact reacted after the inhabitants of Montagne Longue, Cite Borstal, La Sourdine, L’Escalier have complained against asbestos in their homes

Reaz Chuttoo, President of (CPSW) who has led a campaign against asbestos houses for quite a long time, disputes the figures which are brought forward by the authority. “Je ferai mon mieux pour combattre cette problem. Notre Union a recensé 3,113 maisons comportant des panneaux d’amiante a travers l’ile.”

Furthermore, Reaz Chuttoo denounces the inaction of the authorities: “ Suite a notre recente campagne, le gouvernement a voté un budget de Rs 100 millions pour resoudre ce problem, or cet argent n’a jamais  été  utilizé. Le Ministre Showkutally Soodhun a presidé un comité avec une cinquantaine de personnes. Jusqu’a present, le ministre du logement n’a pris aucune mesure. “

Reaz Chuttoo recalled the Authority that he has campaigned for years to warn the said Authority of the dangers of asbestos in these houses built 50 years ago for the destitute people.

By Ahmad Macky

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