Steel workers in Ghana demand shutdown of Rider Steel and United Steel over air pollution

Steel factory workers within the Free Zone enclave in Tema in the Greater Accra Region are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) closes down two other steel companies, Rider Steel and United Steel, for polluting the environment.

Chimney of a steel factory

The workers who are making these demands embarked on a peaceful demonstration at the Free Zones enclave.

They said that the EPA chimneys that release thick smoke are supposed to be 60 meters above ground level.

However, the chimneys of these two steel companies are only 30 meters above the ground, causing severe air pollution.

They alleged that one of their colleagues died from the toxic smoke emitted by the companies. According to the workers, they are dying slowly from poisonous fumes emitted by the two companies.

They said that they are forced to spend all their salaries on treating smoke-related ailments.

“We have been suffocating. They have been suffocating us out of the toxic emissions from the smoke. We have done all we need to but still, nothing has been done about it. So we are still fighting for the right thing to be done to save us from this pollution” one worker said.

Another worker said, “one of our staff died out of this smoke issue and the rest have been visiting the hospital regularly. We have kept on using the same salary in treating ourselves, and it has gotten to the point that we can’t even afford it”.

They added that the EPA has not been able to shut down the companies despite the health risks. But they believe the EPA must act immediately since the actions of the two companies violate Ghana’s environmental laws.

The two companies are yet to comment on the issue. But it seems the EPA cannot do much beyond issuing directives that are not adhered to by the companies.

This is the second time the workers are protesting over the same issue


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