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8 Sep 2006

Alister Doyle, Reuters

Africa Said Most at Risk to Ill-Regulated Toxics

Africa is especially vulnerable to a growing and ill-regulated trade in hazardous waste, experts said on Thursday... In Ivory Coast, waste from a Panamanian-registered ship, the Probo Koala, that was dumped around the lagoon-side city of Abidjan last month has killed three and made hundreds ill... Dutch-based Trafigura Beheer BV, one of the world's leading commodity traders, said it had chartered the Probo Koala and that the material was a "mixture of gasoline, water and caustic washings" after the unloading of a cargo of gasoline in Nigeria. It said the slops were handed over to a certified local waste disposal company, Tommy, along with a written request for safe disposal... By contrast with Africa, some nations in Asia are seeking to capitalise on trade in hazardous wastes, for instance by breaking up ageing ships. This also brings huge health risks.