Chronicling community action, revolutionary and revealing thought

Thursday, March 31, 2005

PSST! Know why Somalia's wreckage didn't get covered, although THEY also got hit by the dec 26th, 2004, tsunami?

Because Atlas shrugged and unearthed a Nasty Little Secret!

Read on.

While many are still focused on the latest earthquake in Indonesia, the effects of the Dec 26th tsunami are still being felt in Somalia. Here's how.

When the tsunami crossed the Indian ocean from Indonesia to hit Africa, it may also have dragged toxic wate containers, illegally dumped off the coast of Somalia, onto the shore (there's only one reason why I say "may" - you'll see as u read further).

Somalia's ongoing civil war has forced its government into exile in Kenya, where the Minister of the Environment, Ohama Osmanhai(sp?), says that according to reports, at least 300 people are affected by new diseases. He says ever since the tsunami, "all over the ocean", there has been complaints of new diseases they have never seen, stuff like blood coming from their mouths, skin changing, a lot of things they never knew before as a Somali population.

Ever heard of the Toxic Waste Trade? No, what's that, you say? Read on.

It's been happening between European-rich countries to developing nations. The Toxic Waste Trade was often possible because of the lack of regulations in the rich countries and weaker, non-existent governments in poor ones. It was very profitable and fake businesses, or mafias, used the opportunity to enrich themselves. It reached its peak in the 1990's, still operating in the early 21st century. Somalia's always been expected to be a dumping ground because it fit into all the criteria for use by those referred to as the 'Waste Trade Mafia': countries afflicted by war, nearby to Europe, have been dumping grounds.

The international trade's decreased since the Basil(sp?) convention on the control of trans-boundary movements of Hazardous Waste, which has been ratified by many countries.

The worst thing? They have no idea what exactly's been dumped there...
or what was washed up by the tsunami...

The United Nations enviromental program is very concerned by the situation. The Regional Director for Africa reported that there's indications that people have been discovering empty drums, toxic waste was dumped, that the tsunami was responsible for resurfacing some of the drums... the UN decided to just organize a series of missions to go to Somalia. Unfortunately the current security situation is, unless there's security clearance to go to Somalia, it would very difficult to send a total assessment team, to really see whether these claims are correct or not (so, basically, no "offical" verification).

Obviously Somalia's exiled Minister supports the U.N's move. He also expects, if its origins can be discovered, whichever countries that produced the mess (erm, waste) to, you know, um, pay to clean it up...? And to prosecute whichever Somalians accepted said waste. He's so far dissappointed by the response of the international community. He calls them blind to what's going on, says they're already rebuilding places affected by the tsunami, except Somalia.

I mean, if YOU were the international community, would YOU? "Naw, man, I didn't do it... (checks watch) Look, I have an important meeting to go to. I gotta bail..."

With international disagreements on the size and composition of a possible peace keeping mission deployal to Somalia, there's gonna be more delays before the the whole extent of the toxic waste pollution is completely known.

Never ever (again, if in your case you've said so) say there isnt a reason for GreenPeace's existence. They're not just some bunch of annoying, bleeding-heart liberals. They've been investigating this since the 1980's.

These guys know and care about shit you mightn't even know or care about unless there was literally some sort of an earth-shattering situation to shake you to attention.

Or not.

I was online chatting and, the tsunami came up; I said I figured I should just mention that African nations also got hit by the tsunami, but got coverage on a level of a media blackout, and how there's speculation on why that was. Almost instantly people started saying, "'cause no one gives a shit about Africa."

Okee dokee. Heard enough?