The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) has fingered industrial pollution for causing cancer and asthma ailments and fatalities.

Internationally acclaimed environmentalist, Desmond D’Sa

The SDCEA said its cancer registry which documents those living (and deceased) with cancer and asthma in the South Durban Basin, is a powerful tool to get the industries to account to the communities.

Desmond D’Sa, an internationally acclaimed environmentalist and a pioneer of the SDCEA, said the increasing pollution and associated health impacts experienced in the South Durban is something that residents and business owners have suffered with for many years.

“The air pollution caused by the surrounding industries and refineries have had a negative effect on people’s health and well-being; it has escalated to an alarming point where more and more people are being diagnosed and dying from cancer. Asthma prevalence has also increased and this is of major concern to SDCEA and should be of concern to all those residing in the South Durban region,” said D’Sa. He remarked that the “community cancer surveillance” aims to serve as a database for cancer information.

” These statistics are proposed to be used as evidence and motivation for the implementation of 24 hour clinics in areas of high pollution. The more people that come forward with their cancer information, the larger our database will become. This will hold a greater weight in our fight for a better and cleaner environment and in turn improved health of those suffering from the pollution,” he said.