Tunisia: uprising over waste disposal crisis


Anger over a regional garbage crisis in Tunisia exploded into street clashes Nov. 9 after a man died following exposure to tear-gas during protests against the reopening of a landfill site. Abderrazek Lacheheb, 35, died in the town of Aguereb in the coastal region of Sfax, punctuating weeks of demonstrations over a growing waste and public health crisis. The powerful UGTT trade union confederation announced a general strike for the day after his passing in Aguereb, condemning the “savage intervention by security forces.”

Public pressure forced the closure of the massive Agareb garbage dump in September, with residents saying it was spreading disease. Municipalities in the region have since refused to collect garbage, complaining that the government has not provided workable alternatives. This has caused thousands of tons of waste to accumulate in the streets for weeks throughout Sfax region, further enflaming popular anger. Finally, the Ministry of Environment on Nov. 8 reopened the Aguereb landfill, in defiance of a judicial order mandating that it remain closed. (AFP, Al Jazeera, Bansoro, The New Arab)

Photo: Leaders.com.tn