Sfax and Gabès launched a campaign to depollute their formerly attractive beaches, which are suffering from environmental pollution, some time ago. The two cities have major phosphates factories, according to Tunisian press sources. Now, according to local Tunisian press sources, the 500,000 inhabitants of the region are joining in the campaign more fervently in a bid to raise the remaining funds to get the job done completely. Following an awareness campaign, local residents are more concerned about the health hazards that the pollution is causing. The European Bank for Investment has already committed 80 million euro.
The project is called Taparura, after the ancient Roman site, which is hoped to become a major tourist destination once the beaches are cleaned. The government is optimistic that lobbying over the past few weeks have produced results. However, more money still needs to be raised. Depolluting Gabès alone will cost 100 million euros, of which 45 million will come from the European Bank for Investment.