Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Nuclear Waste, Death, Sickness and Desperation = PIRATES???

Quite simply when people are put in a situation where they are not only starving but are sick because of the dumping of TOXIC NUCLEAR WASTE, you get people doing what they can to survive while other countries have no disregard for their life, much less welfare. In the case of Somalia PIRATES–which I am not defending in any way–only one can imagine what you would do if you were forced to live in desperate conditions and your neighbors dumped nuclear waste started killing you and you fellow citizens.

Excerpt below from UNITED NATIONS REPORT:

Somalia is one of the many Least Developed Countries that reportedly received countless shipments of illegal nuclear and toxic waste dumped along the coastline. Starting from the early 1980s and continuing into the civil war, the hazardous waste dumped along Somalia’s coast comprised uranium radioactive waste, lead, cadmium, mercury, industrial, hospital, chemical, leather treatment and other toxic waste. Most of the waste was simply dumped on the beaches in containers and disposable leaking barrels which ranged from small to big tanks without regard to the health of the local population and any environmentally devastating impacts.

The issue of dumping in Somalia is contentious as it raises both legal and moral questions. First, there is a violation of international treaties in the export of hazardous waste to Somalia. Second, it is ethically questionable to negotiate a hazardous waste disposal contract with a country in the midst of a protracted civil war and with a factionalized government that could not sustain a functional legal and proper waste

management system. The impact of the tsunami stirred up hazardous waste deposits on the beaches around North Hobyo (South Mudug) and Warsheik (North of Benadir). Contamination from the waste deposits has thus caused health and environmental problems to the surrounding local fishing communities including contamination of groundwater. Many people in these towns have complained of unusual health problems as a result of the tsunami winds blowing towards inland villages. The health problems include acute respiratory infections, dry heavy coughing and mouth bleeding, abdominal haemorrhages, unusual skin chemical reactions, and sudden death after inhaling toxic materials.

What is your perspective on this information and how it might impact how a people react and how you view what is in the news the last week or so? Little fact the mainstream media sorta skips over or purposeful?




  1. It underlines the need for a functioning economy to achieve socially liberal ends.  When there is no economy to support a stable society, there is no enforcement of basic rules (i.e. “Don’t dump nuclear frickin’ waste on the beach”.)  Failed countries like Somalia (Somalia is only referred to as a country for lack of a better term) are waste zones where anything can, and does, happen.

    Sending in an international team to fix the problem is almost impossible (we kinda tried once).  Even just cleaning up the littoral zone is a project of staggering scope – Somalia has almost as much coastline as the US Eastern Seaboard.  Like Afghanistan, there are implications for us all when we as a global population allow regions the size of countries to continue as dead zones (just in case the basic humanitarian situation wasn’t compelling enough).

    Whatever makes this place a country again is worth doing.

  2. is staggering. And children are always the most vulnerable to the effects. Unfortunately, this is the kind of results you get from a totally unregulated free market. There are far too many people in this world who care about only themselves for us to trust in the ‘invisible hand’ of the free market instead of regulations. We see the same thing everywhere, just not to this extent.

    It is long past time for something to be done about Somalia. The people there would be better off under almost any regime, even the Islamic forces. Ethiopia tried and failed. No other country has made a serious effort to reduce the chaos. Clinton made a really weak effort to help and then cut and ran at the first sign of trouble just like Reagan did in Lebanon.

    Two developments give me hope that some semblance of order may finally begin to appear there. The subject of this diary is one of those developments. The illegal dumping of hazardous waste by European companies is beginning to affect other countries in East Africa. This will bring more pressure to end this practice. The other development is the discovery of large oil fields in Puntland. Oil companies can’t operate in the current unstable conditions present in Somalia. The larger oil companies have great influence on their governments, including the state run oil company in China. These companies will start pressuring their countries to bring stability to Somalia so they can start extracting the estimated 5-10 billion barrels of oil that are believed to be in those fields.

    The indifference of other countries is what has allowed this situation to become so bad in the first place. Well, greed is the opposite of indifference. Trust in human greed to finally bring about change.

  3. Kysen

    the more ‘interesting’ it gets.

    From an opinion piece linked to on Crooks and Liars I learned enough to make my sushi loving stomach churn.

    It is not just a matter of European ships dumping toxic waste off of Somali shores….

    As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died

    European ships are also exploiting the fishing off the Somali coastline…

    At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”

    Aside from the egregious wrongdoing….one question comes immediately to my mind:

    Would YOU want to eat that seafood?

    Tuna, Shrimp and Lobster (and, most assuredly, other fish as well) plucked from toxic waters and plopped onto your dinner plate. Sound appetizing? Especially shellfish, the ‘garbage eaters’ of the ocean…imagine what all those lobsters off the Somali coast have been feasting upon. As fucked up as it is, I wonder if it is that aspect of this tragedy that will eventually garner the attentions of the European (and American) public. Not the horrors being committed off the coast of a struggling nation, but the thought that they might be eating seafood tainted by toxic waste…that their dinner plates might glow in the dark.

    Toxic Tuna.

    Septic Shrimp.

    Lethal Lobster.

    Oh My.

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