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Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:21 - Updated Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:20

Tunisia sets up "green police" to battle trash scourge

TUNIS - Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed on Tuesday launched an environmental police department as part of the government's efforts to enhance environmental protection.

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Amid a lack of awareness to protect the environment among the general public, the North African country's rubbish woes worsened as municipalities are not dealing with the problem in advance of local elections slated for December.

"Even municipalities themselves sometimes dump their waste in public spaces," Environment Minister Riadh Mouakher said.

For a month, the "green police" will be responsible for raising the awareness of not dumping waste in public places, according to Mouakher.

After that, from mid-July, throwing trash outside dumpsters or burning waste will incur fines between 16 and 24 U.S. dollars. And if an offense is deemed to be damaging public health, a prison term or higher fines between 120 and 400 dollars can be imposed.

Besides, the government will also allocate 15.2 million dollars annually for a national cleanliness campaign in particular with the approach of the summer tourist season, according to Chahed. Xinhua

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