"Ivory Coast toxic clean-up offer Dutch-based oil trading group Trafigura is to pay the Ivorian government $198m (£102m) for a clean-up and inquiry after a"toxic waste" incident in 2006. Trafigura say this is not "damages" and that there is no admission of liability on their part for whatever happened" --- BBC NEWS
Since the pre-Blogger migration archive for this site was lost, I'm republishing this post on the Trafigura dump of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast. This article provides a little more background on the issue.
--- Originally posted by Pamela to Pam's Coffee Conversation at 11/24/2006 08:03:06 PM ---
You probably won't hear about this on either your local or national news broadcast. After all, it happened in the Ivory Coast and the local officials were at fault, right?
Even if you don't read this entire article think about this. If corporations run out of corrupt Third World officials that are willing to sacrifice the lives of their citizens, how much will it cost for your neighborhood to be turned into a toxic waste dump?
As the article points out the waste management company "Tommy", "was created during the same period when the Probo Koala left Holland for the Ivory Coast," and that it had "had all appearances of a shell company created for the circumstance."
And you thought this only happened in the movies!
Ivory Coast officials blamed for lethal toxic slick
Read the entire article at http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/11/23/news/ivory.php
Mismanagement, negligence and fraud by government agencies and private companies led to the dumping of a highly toxic cocktail of petrochemical waste in Ivory Coast in August, according to a government report issued there Thursday.Summarized by Copernic Summarizer
At least 10 people died and thousands were sickened after chemical waste pumped from a tanker chartered by a Netherlands-based oil trading company was dumped across Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, in the main landfill and near poor residential neighborhoods.
Citing the "lack of rigorous management, failure to observe professional ethics and nonapplication of regulations," the report concluded that officials at the city's port and in several government ministries responsible for monitoring the shipping and handling of waste and petroleum allowed the chain of events that led to the dumping, despite repeated red flags.
The waste arrived in Abidjan on Aug. 19 aboard the Probo Koala, a Greek- owned tanker flying a Panamanian flag and leased by Trafigura, an oil trading corporation.
The tanker carried a toxic mix of chemicals that the ship had already tried to dispose of in Amsterdam in July, saying the waste was ordinary slop from cleaning the tanks of petroleum products.
But workers in Amsterdam's port refused to take the waste for the initial price, $15,000, saying it was toxic and would require special disposal.
Instead of paying the more than $300,000 it would cost to dispose of the waste in Europe, the ship sailed a circuitous route that included stops in Estonia and Nigeria, eventually arriving in Abidjan, where a subsidiary of Trafigura, Puma Energie, arranged to have the waste disposed of by Tommy, a local company.
The report identified Tommy, which agreed to dispose of the waste for $20,000, and its manager, Salomon Ugborugbo, as mainly responsible for the dumping.
Before the waste arrived, Ugborugbo wrote an electronic message to a Trafigura official, saying that he had found a place "outside the city called 'Akwedo' where he would dump the products," the report said.
Akouedo is the city landfill surrounded by poor neighborhoods and frequented by thousands of people who make a living picking recyclable items from the trash.
Once the waste arrived, Tommy hired 12 tanker trucks, paying them about $250 each, and sent them to dump the material in Akouedo, according to the report.