Toxic waste cleanup in Abidjan

Here is a recent update about the cleanup from the Probo Koala toxic waste scandal:

‘We do these kinds of operations all around the world, but this is big,’ Alwin Booij, managing director Tredi Internationale, the French firm contracted to handle the cleanup told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa Thursday.

So far, Booij said, his teams have removed more than 6,000 tons of contaminated soil and toxic liquids from 18 sites around Abidjan, a city of around five million inhabitants. The 141 tanker and box containers aboard the MN Toucan constitute only the first of an expected four shipments.

Today, Ivorian authorities are carrying out no fewer than five inquiries into the affair. Two top Trafigura executives are among ten men currently being held in an Abidjan prison pending the results of a criminal inquiry. And police in the Netherlands are looking into an attempt by the Probo Koala to offload its cargo in Amsterdam in July.

The Ivorian government is also concerned with recuperating cleanup costs, which are likely to run well into the millions.

‘We’re talking about six thousand tons of very hazardous waste to repack, transport, and incinerate,’ Tredis Booij said Thursday. ‘There are big bucks involved.’

The MN Toucan left Abidjan late Friday night with its poisonous cargo bound for Le Havre, France. From there the tankers and containers will be transported to an incinerating facility outside Lyon for disposal. But it leaves behind it unanswered questions.
Ivory Coast toxic cleanup nears end, but questions remain, by Joe Bavier, Oct 28, 2006

Ten innocent people dead, thousands of people sick, and millions of Euros/Dollars wasted in cleanup cost. At least two of the executives of Trafigura are sitting in a prison in Côte D’Ivoire! If they are found to be responsible for this mess they deserve to rot in the deepest, darkest hole in that prison for the rest of their lives.

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