Ivory Coast cabinet resings over toxic waste

 
Published: Sunday 15 October 2006

Cleaning up their act (Credit: Reuters)The cabinet of Ivory Coast has resigned following the dumping of toxic sludge in the city of Abidjan. A Panamanian-registered vessel, Probo Koala, had dumped over 500 tonnes of liquid toxic sludge into 14 open-air rubbish tips around Abidjan. Experts say, Marpol, the international convention on maritime pollution strictly prohibits the discharge of such slops into the sea.

Till reports last received, seven people had died and at least 26,000 fallen ill after breathing the noxious, toxic fumes, says the health ministry. Though the waste composition remains unclear, experts sent in by the French and Swiss governments say it is a mixture of oil residue and caustic soda used to flush out the tanks of the Probo Koala. It is feared that the poison may have contaminated the country's water and entered the food chain.

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