Hundreds to protest against ArcelorMittal in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Hundreds of people are expected to attend a protest against illegal levels of air pollution from the local ArcelorMittal steelmill this Friday afternoon. The action has been organized through social media and is supported by local NGOs Dosta! and Zenica Eko-Forum.
10 February 2011
Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina — Hundreds of people are expected to attend a protest against illegal levels of air pollution from the local ArcelorMittal steelmill this Friday afternoon. The action has been organized through social media and is supported by local NGOs Dosta! and Zenica Eko-Forum.
The protest follows a similar one last Friday. Attended by roughly five hundred people, this was the largest action in the city’s history of environmental mobilization against the polluting plant. The two protests this month were triggered by particularly high emission levels in January: for example, the sulphur dioxide concentration reached alarm levels on 19 days last month.
Pippa Gallop from CEE Bankwatch Network explains the reasons for the discontent: “In 2005, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approved a 25 million euros loan for ArcelorMittal to be used as working capital and for improving energy efficiency. The money was conditioned on the implementation of environmental investments.
“But, in more than five years, we have seen no improvements in air quality — on the contrary. ArcelorMittal is claiming that it resurrected the Zenica steelmill after the war. But what’s the benefit if the local people’s health is destroyed,” commented Gallop. “We demand of ArcelorMittal to finally install filters at the plant.”
For more information, contact:
Samir Lemes (Zenica Eko-Forum)
Mob: +387 61 805 565
For background on ArcelorMittal and environmental issues:
CEE Bankwatch Network
pippa.gallop AT bankwatch.org
EBRD information about its project: http://www.ebrd.com/pages/project/psd/2005/36116.shtml
Photo from last week’s protest: http://dosta.ba/latinica/svako-je-trovacica-svoje-sudbine-zenica-04-02-2011/
Never miss an update
We expose the risks of international public finance and bring critical updates from the ground – straight to your inbox.