Civitavecchia: A Town Stricken By Cancer

Civitavecchia: A Town Stricken By Cancer

Day 2 of the People's Pilgrimage brings the pilgrims to an Italian community facing serious health problems due to a local coal power plant.

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Friday 02 October 2015 at 12:00
Civitavecchia: A Town Stricken By Cancer

by Yeb Saño,

After leaving Rome for the start of our People's Pilgrimage to Paris, Civitavecchia was our next stop. Nestled on the Mediterranean western coast of Lazio, Civitavecchia is known for its remarkable tourism.

What is less known about this city is the difficult fight  that's been waged against a big coal-fired power station.

The People's Pilgrimage was welcomed so warmly by the city's mayor and many of the groups who were fighting for clean energy and protection of the marine environment. The local community had also handed to us a statement to world leaders that they hope we can bring to Paris with us.

In Civitavecchia, the long term use of fossil fuels especially coal has created a serious health issue — it has become a cancer town with 2,000 people diagnosed with cancer out of its 53,000 total population.

This is truly a tragedy, and it is in hearing voices like this that we gain the realization that indeed the kind of energy infrastructure we have causes serious problems affecting local communities.

Despite these circumstances, the people of Civitavecchia had opened their doors to us and have offered their home to be our home for our sojourn. Our hope in the world's political leaders are becoming scarce, but with the kindness and graciousness of our Pilgrimage hosts, our faith in humanity has been revived.

Header image via Guy Gorek (Flick Creative Commons)

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