Target: Uhrur Kenyatta, President of Kenya
Goal: Demand shut down of toxic lead plant responsible for threatening public health
The existence of factories are an inescapable reality during the industrial development across the globe. They provide jobs, economic growth, and can even change the course of a nation’s landscape. But, what happens when these factories threaten public health? Or even kill citizens? Such is the case in Kenya where the people of Mombasa are facing serious health consequences due to toxic lead from a battery recycling plant.
According to a Human Rights Watch documentary a large industrial lead smelter installed in the town’s Owino Uhuru district is responsible for the death of at least three Kenyans, and the poisoning of countless others. As the lead is burned, tons of toxic gas escape from the ill-installed smelter which, in turn, pollutes the air and puts the small community of 3,000 at risk for neurological, biological and cognitive diseases.
At the heart of the issue is Kenya’s government who failed to regulate the battery recycling plant, and its toxic smelter, compromising the health of workers and nearby residents. Although it is standard procedure for the government to assess the environmental impact of an industrial factory, Human Rights Watch states that the facility opened up illegally, and that assessments weren’t performed until after it began operation.
On a global scale, toxic pollution from other industrial means like mining, lead smelters and industrial dumps are responsible for affecting the health of more than 125 million people; more than malaria and tuberculosis combined. Factory employees have described harrowing working conditions in which they were given no protective gear or medical treatment for their lead poisoning. What’s more is that they were also openly told by managers that “…they were going to die because of the dangerous nature of the work.”
As the lead seeps into their water supply and contaminates the air, the small village has reported a disturbingly high level of miscarriages, impotence, and lead-related illnesses and developmental delays in children — all while the Kenyan government profits.
Sign the petition to urge Kenyan authorities to shut down the plant responsible for threatening public health provide proper care to those affected.
Dear Uhrur Kenyatta,
A toxic battery recycling plant in the town of Mombasa is threatening public health by contaminating the environment and is responsible for the deaths of at least three Kenyans. Factory workers are given no protective gear to work in the plant’s harsh conditions and are even told by managers that they will die because of the toxicity. No man, woman, or child should suffer at the hands of an apathetic government looking to cash in while citizens endure painful defects, miscarriages, prolonged illness and even death.
I urge you to take responsibility for this cruel injustice and shut down the battery plant that’s caused nothing but pain, anguish and suffering for your people since its installation. The people of Mombasa deserve a better quality of life than the one you’ve so apathetically thrust upon them. As a government, the lives of the citizens should be a priority, not an afterthought. Close the factory and provide health care to those affected negatively as a result.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gyre via wikimedia