Update on Côte d’Ivoire

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cote.jpg  It seems there has been yet another death by trash this week.  A seventh person died yesterday from the ill effects of toxic waste dumped in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.  Earlier this week the entire parliament resigned over the scandal.  The ministry of health now estimates 1,600 others are sick from “fuel slops” dumped by a ship described in varying news reports as “Panamanian” “Greek-owned” and “Dutch-based”, though I suppose it could be all three.  The UN and French officials have confirmed that 400 tons of the toxic waste was dumped at several sites around the city. 

Despite the known risks, trashpickers are returning to work

6 Responses to “Update on Côte d’Ivoire”

  1. kimberly Says:

    I was about to post this to the earlier bit, but you are on top of it. The BBC led its update by reporting that the transportation minister was pulled from his car and beaten…plans for cleanup are in the works, but don’t start until Sunday. 400 TONS of this stuff? I’m trying to imagine what that would be, and I can’t.

  2. everydaytrash Says:

    Whoa. Not good. And to think I was heartened by reading in that last VOA link in this post that “On August 19, the villagers took matters into their own hands. As the last of the tanker trucks carrying the toxic waste attempted to enter the Akouedo landfill, it was surrounded by angry local residents. Its driver fled.”

    400 tons = 53 adult male elephants

  3. kimberly Says:

    I keep thinking it seems strange that garbarge could destabilize a nation. But, I remember when I was on an extending binge of reading histories about all the various so-called radical organizations of the 1960s, and one of them – I can’t recall which – polled the (fairly poor) urban nabe they were working in. They learned that one of the things people were most upset about was the lack of trash collection. So one of their key initiatives was to become a sort of supplemental sanitation department, and they helped keep the nabe clean. Not surprisingly, they became very popular.

  4. everydaytrash Says:

    Ha. Capitalizing on trash.

    That reminds me of this example communications folks are always using about frogs. It seems that when some airport (in California, I don’t remember) was being put in, it was set to disrupt the habitat of a certain type of frog. A group of environmentalists out to save the frogs hired a consultant to help them get target their ad messages. The consultant polled the area and found that what people really worried about was traffic congestion. So the consultants told the frog defenders to drop the frogs and do a campaign on how bad for traffic the airport would be at it’s proposed location. I’m assuming they won, since I’ve heard the sleight of frog example more than once.

  5. kimberly Says:

    right, i remember this from one of our recent runs.
    that is part of the issue, but these examples have also made me wonder what correlation there may be between social stability and the state of garbage collection at different municipal, state, and national levels. And, if there is, which comes first? I’m sure it’s complicated, but therefore fascinating.

    i know i was enthusiastic about the idea, but I had no idea how addictive trashblogging would become so quickly!

  6. toxic slop smells like rotting eggs « everyday trash Says:

    […] update on Côte d’Ivoire […]

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