Toxic Waste Dumping: Africa At The Mercy Of God

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!

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BEN April 5, 2011 - 10:50 am

This apalling crime of toxic waste dumping should be tackled from within, not without. This is a crime against humanity not only by the perpetrators, but equally by collaborators. Its unimmaginable how a goverment, or its official can consider or think about bringing incurable diseases to his people by polluting their land in exchange for money.

Unfortunatey there are creatures in human shape who will commit any attrocity if they know they will get away with it. It can be stopped by making it a treasonable offence all over Africa, purnishable by death, in an African court Then the collaborators will be no more. If there are no collaborators, the perpetrators won’t try it, because they would be found out.

david October 15, 2010 - 12:05 pm

i am happy some people somewhere are concerned about what happens to our environment in Africa. i also want Africans everywhere in the continent to learn the habit of taking good care of their environment, maybe the west wrongfully thinks since we care very little about our environment, maybe they could just use it as their dump site

Mary July 8, 2010 - 12:28 pm

I Think its disgusting how people pollute our environment, its so wrong.. people who do it deserved to be punished!!!

Joaquin Zubizarreta December 11, 2009 - 7:30 pm

It is a great article. Although it would be even greater if the sources of this article were cited in an academic format (such as Chicago style or APA), if that was available, the article could be spread to Universities and used in essays properly. Enhancing that to this kind of articles would also give it the chance to be taken internationally more efficiently. I hope this is taken in consideration for the writers and this website as well

Esther Oisamoje November 17, 2009 - 2:57 am

This article excellent and to come from a Nigerian. of most importance is the arc of leadership in Africa (the mentality of our leaders must change) to achieve a meaningful headway. The second point is maybe, Nigeria would need strict penalties for these toxic waste dumpers and any even stricter punishment for Nigerian citizens that are part of the conspiracy. We must not only limit our cope of defining Hazardous Waste to only those chemicals(solid or liquid) that come in barrels. What about the horrible situation presently face in Lagos- The so-called Ikeja Computer Village (A village of Hazardous waste dump) It is an issue to be tackled with emergency but the question is WHO, WHERE, and HOW.

Kutloano September 23, 2009 - 9:19 am

Well it is painful with no doubt for any normal African being; the main question would be: How many people do know about this AND I think people should be informed and educated (Education is the key). Another question is: To those who know about this WHAT ARE WE TO DO- YES, what are we suppose to do about this huge issue?? DO YOU THINK PRES MUGABE KNEW ABOUT THIS ALL ALONG,MMHH??

jonathan goodman October 24, 2008 - 12:56 am

This is only shocking to those who are ignorant, by choice. of the perennial

insults delivered from the “second world”, continually even at this late date

in modern times. These dumpers would prefer to kill as many Africans as

possible, than to reigning in there insatiable greed.

Kiki December 18, 2007 - 9:07 am

Searching for materials for an article, I found this… and I´m horryfied. Thank you for the informative and useful lines.

Reply February 21, 2007 - 7:04 am

Thank you for a most informative article. We produce and are already getting sick from enough waste of our own that we cannot manage. We certainly don't need to import more waste to pollute the nation and to destroy our people. Burning eyes, sore throats and poisonous clouds that sometimes form over some Nigerian cities is more than enough for me. I recently had my several weeks of a hacking dry cough.


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