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Mysterious barrels found on Somalia's Adale Beach raise concerns of illegal dumping

Hassan Istiila
Monday February 27, 2023


Sealed metal barrel at Adale Beach/ Harun Maruf - VOA

Mogadishu (HOL) - Officials in the Adale district of the Middle Shabelle Region have discovered sealed metal barrels on Adale Beach that are suspected of containing toxic chemicals. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change of the Federal Republic of Somalia reported the finding and stated that a team of experts would be sent to inspect the barrels to determine their contents and associated hazards.

The local community members in Adale, located 220 km north of Mogadishu, expressed concern about the sealed metal barrels. As a precaution, the Ministry has contacted the administration of the Adale district to close the area where the barrels are located temporarily. The Ministry has also advised residents and visitors to avoid the area until further notice to protect their health and the environment.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has stated that an official investigation will be carried out to ensure the safety of the community and the environment. The inspection crew will check the contents of the sealed metal barrels and assess their associated hazards.

This discovery has raised concerns about the potential for hazardous waste to be illegally dumped on Adale Beach, highlighting the need for stricter regulations to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. The Ministry has urged members of the public to report any suspicious activities related to waste dumping or hazardous materials to the authorities.

The findings of the inspection and investigation will be shared with the public as soon as they become available.

Illegal toxic waste dumping in Somalia has been an ongoing issue for decades, posing a significant threat to the country's environment and public health. In 2004, dozens of barrels containing toxic waste were exposed on the shores of Puntland after a tsunami hit the Indian Ocean, drawing attention to the extent of the problem.

According to a 2005 report by Voice of America, European companies have been dumping toxic waste off the Somali coast for decades, taking advantage of the country's instability and weak governance. The report noted that the toxic waste was often disguised as humanitarian aid or shipped under false pretenses.

The dumping of toxic waste off Somalia's coast has been linked to increased piracy in the past, as fishermen and coastal communities turned to piracy as a means of survival. Somali pirates claimed that they had turned to piracy as a way of protesting against illegal fishing and toxic waste dumping.

Despite the periodic reports of new dumping incidents, the international community has been slow to respond to the problem of illegal toxic waste dumping in Somalia. Few concrete steps have been taken to hold responsible parties accountable.


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