Around 1500 families – mainly women – depend on the mussel capture and processing in the area around the Muros-Noia estuary. The mining industry pollutes the soil with heavy metals. As a result, thousands of hectares of seabed have already been closed. The consequences for the community are disastrous: no livelihood without mussel capture. Meanwhile, Sacyr Group is taking legal steps to block environmental groups from taking water samples in sites where illegal discharges of toxic substances are taking place, in order to keep their harmful practices under wraps.
The communities living around the mine are not only in danger of losing their income. They are also threatened with eviction from their homes and the loss of even more of their land. Residents complain of intimidation by the Sacyr Group. Despite massive protests, the regional government continues to support the mining activities.
Regaining the ground
With the help of Het Actiefonds, local communities are reclaiming the land that has been taken from them. They do this by planting endangered, native tree species in the old mine shafts and mining holes. Many families with children are planting trees in the soil, thus getting right of use to the trees and its fruits. The goal is to restore the affected areas and reclaim the lost ground.
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