Ivory Coast Waste: Return to Sender

29 Sep 2006

Subject : Ivory Coast/Toxic wastes

The toxic wastes spread on the Ivory Coast August 19-20, 2006 are in the course of recovery, packaging, and gathering, as observed by Robin des Bois in Abidjan. Given that these wastes were dumped over one month ago, the dredging of deposits will generate a final quantity greater than the initial quantity, approximately 500 tons. It is essential, in order to allay the inquietude of the Abidjan populations, that the collection of waste leave the Ivory Coast and return to their point of departure, namely Europe (see press release “Call for a waste charter” from September 12, 2006). There is neither in the Netherlands nor in Estonia a facility capable of thermal treatment elimination of these wastes, declared as ship-generated wastes which should have been discharged in ports of Amsterdam or Paldiski. These facilities are available in various European countries such as Finland, Germany, Belgium, and France. Whatever treatment site or sites are chosen after confirmation of different conflicting analyses, a public information session must be organized to avoid the phenomenon of rejection that was seen in 1988 when waste fraudulently stored in Nigeria were returned to Europe aboard the Karin B (see Robin des Bois’s press dossier from the Abidjan conference, “The first wave and the ebbtide” or the article about the Karin B in la Flèche et le Marin).

The treatment of these wastes in Europe will constitute the first step of reparation for damages inflicted on the Ivory Coast and must also be seen as a gesture of solidarity towards the stricken populations.


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