Profile on Centre for Health & Environmental Education Awareness:
The Centre for Health and Environmental Education Awareness (CHEEA) is a women-centered health, environmental and justice non – profit organization.
CHEEA works to create capacity building by eliminating or substantially reducing health and environmental unawareness, thus impacting on human health and to increase women’s participation in decision-making.
CHEEA, rather than an ordinary organisation, serves as a “BRIDGING THE GAPS” organization; with all Stakeholders – Community; Industries; Government (National; Provincial; Local)
CHEEA acknowledges that there has to be a practical application and action to meet the challenges, and BRIDGE THE GAPS between perceptions and reality.
CHEEA would like to have a direct impact on local communities’ environmental practices, through educators, learners and the citizens, bringing their experiences back home – e.g. health and environmental awareness and sustainable practices.
CHEEA would like to be the lead organisation that facilitates all Stakeholders’ actions towards a common cause - ‘learning’. Learning is the pathway to a better life and creates a better future for all.
CHEEA’s major role is to facilitate and accelerate the processes of health and environmental education and awareness.
CHEEA will lead initiatives in order to deal comprehensively with the problem of health and environmental education.
CHEEA is a clearinghouse for individuals and groups on Respiratory Illnesses especially, Asthma Education and Awareness.
South Durban is an area which is home to a number of communities. It is also the location of South Africa’s largest chemical industry cluster including, two major oil refineries; two big mills, one a paper mill and the other a sugar mill, a sewage treatment plant, a chemical storage facility as well as the transport infrastructure associated with Africa’s largest port – known as the Big 5 of south Durban.
The Big 5 are:
1. Engen Petroleum Refinery, until 1996 the largest South African-owned integrated petroleum group (now majority-owned by Petronas, the Malaysia petroleum company);
2. SAPREF, the largest crude oil refinery in Southern Africa (owned by Shell South Africa and BP Southern Africa);
3. Island View Storage, the complex located at Island View / Fynnland area of the Bluff and is part of the Port of Durban, it covers an area of 116 hectares and is developed as a major bulk storage and handling facility for chemical and petroleum products in both liquid and gas;
4. Tongaat Hulett Sugar Mill in Clairwood, one of the largest sugar mills in South Africa; and
5. Mondi Paper Company, one of the largest individual paper mills in the world.
In addition, there are companies that produce refined sugar, plastics, chromium, asbestos products, textiles and fibre products, galvanizing and paint products. All told, there are approximately 120 "smokestack industries" that produce a wide variety of petroleum and other chemical products in south Durban. The South Durban Basin is also the site of the Durban International Airport, located in the heart of the area.
Toxic emissions from industries into the air, soil and water are a potential threat to the health of learners, communities, workers, and the environment in south Durban. So, too, are poor operating practices by some companies that have led to periodic oil spills and sprays, industrial accidents, inadequate safety and emergency plans for workers and neighbourhoods, truck accidents, and illegal dumping of toxic wastes.