Protest against polluting cement factory in Kirkuk

Kirkuk, 18 January 2021 – a protester in Laylan subdistrict during demonstration ‎against Kirkuk Cement Factory – photo: Karwan Salehi

Karwan Salehi - Kirkuk

Residents of Laylan subdistrict in Kirkuk say they will allow Kirkuk Cement Factory to work with the condition that filters will be installed to reduce emission of chemicals and smog, and demand that a large number of trees be planted as compensation for the environmental damage the factory has caused.

The two demands from a number of Laylan residents were made during a protest today (18 January) against the factory.

With several slogans, the protestors demanded from Kirkuk Administration protection for their lives and the environment from the factory’s pollution.

Ali Kareem, one of the protesters, told KirkukNow that the factory was being run by the government previously and later was given over to a contractor. Adding that it has been neglected and lacks filters, which has made life for residents in the area difficult.

“We have staged protests numerous times, but to no avail. If they don’t resolve the issue this time, we will prevent them working.”

Kareem says that the residents have held meetings and agree on demanding filters to be installed and that two million trees must be planted around the factory.

On 7 January, KirkukNow published a report on the effects of the factory’s emitted chemicals and smoke on the environment and the lives of the residents in nearby areas.

The factory complied to the demands of the protesters and has promised to install filters as soon as possible.

The Kirkuk Cement Factory, also known as the Laylan Factory, is located in southeast Kirkuk City. It was built in the 1980s and currently has the capacity of producing nearly 2 million tons of cement.

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