Europe's Nuclear & Toxic Waste Scandal in Somalia: Radiation Threatens East & Horn of Africa
The same Times of London article on the deadly man-made wastes now unleashed in Somalia was filed from Johannesburg, South Africa by Jonathan Clayton. All or virtually all these nuclear and other poisonous wastes were shipped into Somalia from Europe.
At $8.00 a ton (eight bucks) European companies illegally dumped lethal, poisonous and radioactive wastes that would've cost as much as $1,000 a ton (a thousand dollars per ton) to dispose of in the white, northern world.
Much of this story traces back to a Somali "leader" named Ali Mahdi - also as Ali Mahdi Mohamed - who in the early 1990s "controlled north Mogadishu and worked closely with the UN..."
The Times article claims that this Ali Mahdi has always refused to discuss his role in dumping nuclear and toxic waste in Somalia for profit. Just as importantly -- where is Ali Mahdi now, and - since authorities already know about this scandal - why isn't he in jail?
But also, a report by Italy's parliament has already confirmed many of the dumping allegations. Quoting from the Times: "Initial reports indicate that the tsunami waves broke open containers full of toxic waste and scattered the contents. We are talking about everything from medical waste to chemical waste products,” Nick Nuttal, the Unep spokesman, told The Times.
“We know this material is on the land and is now being blown around and possibly carried to villages. What we do not know is the full extent of the problem.”
"Mr Nuttall said... a UN assessment mission ... recently returned from [Somalia] which has had no government since 1991, reported that several Somalis in the northern areas were ill with diseases consistent with radiation sickness. “We need more information. We need to find out what has been going on there, but there is real cause for concern,” he added. “We now need to urgently send in a multi-agency expert mission, led by Unep, for a full investigation.”
"An initial UN report says that many people in the areas around the northeastern towns of Hobbio and Benadir, on the Indian Ocean coast, are suffering from far higher than normal cases of respiratory infections, mouth ulcers and bleeding, abdominal haemorrhages and unusual skin infections.
“The current situation along the Somali coastline poses a very serious environmental hazard not only in Somalia but also in the eastern Africa sub-region...”
"Local warlords, many of them former ministers in Siad Barre’s last government, received large payments from Swiss and Italian firms for access to their respective fiefdoms.
"Most of the waste was simply dumped on remote beaches in containers and leaking disposable barrels.
"Somali sources ... say ... the dumped materials included radioactive uranium, lead, cadmium, mercury and industrial, hospital, chemical and various other toxic wastes. In 1992, Unep said that European firms were involved in the trade, but because of the high level of insecurity in the country there were never any accurate assessments of the extent of the problem.
"In 1997 and 1998, the [excellent] Italian newspaper Famiglia Cristiana, which jointly investigated the allegations with the Italian branch of Greenpeace, published a series of articles detailing the extent of illegal dumping by a Swiss firm, Achair Partners, and an Italian waste broker, Progresso.
"The European Green Party followed up the revelations by presenting to the press and the European Parliament in Strasbourg copies of contracts signed by the two companies and representatives of the then “President” — Ali Mahdi Mohamed — to accept 10 million tonnes of toxic waste in exchange for $80 million (then about £60 million). ..."