Toxic Waste Dumping: Africa At The Mercy Of God
Odimegwu Onwumere wrote in from Rivers State, Nigeria.View all articles by Odimegwu Onwumere
According to reports, somewhere in Europe, an African diplomat was invited to a lunch in a bid for the African diplomat to introduce a European at the meeting to the president of the African's country to allow the dumping of toxic waste in their country by the European at a tempting sum of Money.
The business of toxic waste is gigantic, satanic and dangerous and it belongs to the pedigree of what observers called Devil's Trinity, which includes hard drugs (cocaine for example) and arms. It is painful to admit how someone in Europe would sit in office, or in America, removes risky wastes and thinks Africa as the substitute ground to dump them.
After the dumping of over 3,500 tonnes of toxic waste at Koko, a town in Delta State, Nigeria from Italy in 1988, the Calbert brothers in the United States were reported to be very good and had a knack at dumping waste anywhere they deemed of interest, especially Africa.
There was a report credited to Calbert brothers, from their office in New Jersey, "they falsified documents to beat the American government by labeling drums of hazardous waste as AID products from the government's USAID, with the logo of handshakes signifying friendship, they sent toxic waste to Zimbabwe. When they were nabbed and tried, they told a stunned court that they saw nothing in shipping waste out of their backyard (industries) in America into Africa…" Imagine that statement! This reveals how desperate the West want Africa but hate Africans. They see Africa as a place where life is not worth it.
After toxic waste was dumped in Koko, the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, set up a centre to be handling waste, especially hazardous waste, at the university of Ibadan, Nigeria, which is headed by Professor Oladele Osibanjo and Dr. Evans Aina's Federal Environmental Protection Agency, FEPA. The former "was part of the team involved in the decontamination process of Koko town. The centre was set three years ago.
At Koko, a devil-incarnate businessman called Gianfranco Rafaelli it was who dumped the toxic waste after approaching a 67-year-old Sunday Nana to acquire a "piece of land to dump what he claimed was raw materials for his industry". It was later discovered that Rafaelli was havening, at Koko, 8,000 drums of polychlorinated biphenyl sulphate (PCBS), methyl melamine, dimethyl ethyl-acetate formaldehyde etc., which were the world's most hazardous waste. This caused Nigerian government then under the leadership of General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) and the Italian government diplomatic mishap because before Nigeria could say Jack Robinson, Rafaelli was nowhere to be found in Nigeria. Nigeria was so angry, the toxic waste were shipped back to Italy.
But before the shipping, many Nigerians, including Nana, whom Rafaelli approached, confessed that they have been drinking water from the drums of the toxic wastes, oblivious of what it contained, took ill. Nana was ill two years later.
Not to go too far in this write-up because of space, the recent toxic waste beng shipped into the West African nation of Cote D'Voire is a thorn in the neck. Not minding that African nations are signatories to Basel Convention on the Trans-Boundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes, the West has no respect to that and to humanity, especially Africans. How could the Netherlands have dumped toxic waste in Cote D'Voire if they have not sold their conscience?
Judging this from a humble opinion, is this hazardous waste dumped in African nations not equivalent to the alleged weapon worthy of mass destruction in Iraq which drove America and the United Nations to invade the country? This is a hideous act of the enormous magnitude.
We cannot forget in a hurry that a ship called Kian Sea carried 2,000,000 tonnes of Philadelphia Ash from Panama to Guinea-Bissau in West Africa. Benin Republic was reported to " had a contract on January 12, 1988, with a British company affiliated to South Africa to dump about five million tonnes of waste yearly. Benin Republic was expected to receive a ridiculous fee of $2.50 per tone from Sesio Gibraltar, the company behind the deal, despite the fact that in the developed world, more than $5,000 would have been charged per tone of waste". This writer is not in anyway subscribing to such negotiation, of any amount.
Rather, the West should stop taking advantage of the ceaseless wars in African countries to ship waste to us sometimes tagged 'aid-relief'. If not that African leaders are like the sleeping dog, one wonders why the West would always be on the escape side when nabbed on this act. There is no amount of money paid to a nation as 'ransom' that would bring back a dead man.The United Nations and African leaders should help Africa by enacting 'strict' laws, preferably the death penalty, that would prevent these waste merchants from shipping these unwanted waste into Africa. Africa, from the beginning, has suffered untold terrorism from the West. Enough is enough!