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25 Jul 2006

Denis Nkwebo, Le Quotidien Mutations [Cameroon]

Douala: Chemical pollution in Bassa neighbourhood [Cameroon]

[Original article in French. Title translation & following summary of article's key points provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.] Green water has flowed from the Guinness factory at Ndogbong, in Bassa neighbourhood, down a cliff and into a residential area for several years, leading residents to fear health risks from the effluent. For several recent weeks, neighbourhood residents have found an additional, intermittent flow of oil waste. Following the black oil to its source, some local youths found effluent flowing from Socatur, a city transportation company. The green effluent comes from facilities operated by Guinness (part of Diageo) and Cicam (Cotonnière industrielle du Cameroun). A raid by the government’s environmental inspector in April 2001 led to a conviction against Cicam for its discharge of effluents and the failure of its effluent treatment system. It was fined 5 million CFA Francs. Guinness was hit with the same fine, for similar reasons. Still, Ndogbong’s environmental situation continues to deteriorate. A technical officer at Guinness stated that the company has installed a liquid effluent treatment unit. [Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Cicam to respond to this article, but Cicam declined to respond]

Part of the following timelines

Residents of Douala accuse Cicam & other firms of chemical pollution of their neighbourhood.

Residents of Douala accuse Guinness & other firms of chemical pollution of their neighbourhood.