A protester looks at treated water discharged into the sea off the Gabes region from a nearly chemical plant during a rally against pollution caused by nearby factories. AFP / FATHI NASRI
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Next to a palm grove, a blackish mud flows into the sea. After years of living with industrial pollution, residents of Tunisia's Gabes are fighting back. Close to the Chott Essalem beach and in front of a rare coastal oasis, the state-owned Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT) has been processing phosphate since the '70s.The authorities say the plant pumps 14,000 tons of phosphogypsum into the sea every day. Many are sure that pollution from the factory is the cause of a local surge in cancer cases, a claim the government rejects.Sabeh Moumen, 47, a local restaurateur, is convinced her asthma was caused by the pollution.
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