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Over 300,000 Tunisians totally deprived of drinking water, warns FTDES on World Environment Day

June 6, 2022

TAP) - Over 300,000 Tunisians are totally deprived of drinking water at a time when industrial plants such as the Gafsa Phosphate Company (CPG) are depleting the water table with an estimated annual consumption of 8.9 million cubic meters of water, equivalent to the consumption of 112,000 Tunisians, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), an NGO which has also been campaigning for environmental rights since its creation in 2011, warned on Sunday.

The Forum added in a statement released on June 5, on the World Environment Day, that thousands of citizens in Tunisia live near so-called 'controlled' landfills and other random dumps, and continue to breathe polluted air and to be exposed with their children to multiple health risks.

Meanwhile, successive governments 'criminalise and repress the environmental protest movements that have been growing in recent years.'

According to the FTDES environmental justice department, 'environmental violations still stand as an obstacle to the right of thousands of citizens to a safe and healthy environment, and the dilemma of random landfills and disruption and interruption of drinking water supplies are among the important environmental problems that persist without the competent authorities intervening to resolve them.'

'Growing environmental injustice and marginalisation are exacerbating social protests and undermining social peace in many regions,' the FTDES pointed out in this regard.

Call for new environmental choices

The Forum called for the need to embrace new environmental choices that would be governed by a legislative framework guaranteeing their implementation and consistent with international treaties signed by the Tunisian State and the 2014 Constitution's gains.

The forum urged the authorities to 'alert to the dangers that threaten the environment and endeavour to avoid them while seeking to guarantee the principles of equality and environmental justice and preserve the environmental rights of all without

exception.'

World Environment Day 2022 has the theme #OnlyOneEarth and calls for collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet. Led by UNEP, World Environment Day is launched with a plea: Now is the time to act before it is too late.

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