Images used with permission
War, gangs, pirates, reckless militias, droughts, poverty and lawlessness have created the most toxic conditions in the world. Somalia, a country located in the horn of Africa, possesses the longest coast in all of Africa, but for the last 20 years this place has been in a state of utter anarchy. Nearly 3 million people have left the country as fanatical militias of various clan and ideological lines have poured into the cities from the harsh countryside populated by nomadic people. The death, destruction and ruining of the country’s once great cities is a significant issue, but only a part of the story. The country’s forests, animal grazing lands, coastal resources and the health of whatever is left of its human population is in grave danger.
In Somalia anyone with a boat can ship in and out whatever they want as the country possesses numerous natural harbours throughout its long coast. Some are making their living cutting precious trees and converting them to charcoal, others are growing or selling drugs, some are trafficking humans and still others are making millions of dollars each year hijacking commercial ships. With the longest unprotected coast in the world sitting bare, if you thought someone other than the local criminals have been tempted you are absolutely right. Ships are coming from as far away as Japan to lay their nets and steal Somalia’s fish in huge quantities. They use every type of outlawed finishing method because there is no one to say anything about it.
But there is something even more dangerous than stealing fish or shipping in arms and drugs; something even more dangerous than human trafficking. For years faceless companies that have links to various mafia groups have been using the Somali coast as a cheap waste dump. Anything from industrial heavy metals to radioactive nuclear waste and WMDs is being dumped along this wretched coast.
There are even reports of companies making dealings with warlords and paying them to bury nuclear waste in their territory. Lately there have been signs that all this toxic mix is finally showing up in the faces of the Somali population, particularly those living near the coastal areas around the capital Mogadishu.
Mysterious containers are constantly washing up on the Somali coast. On examination it is revealed that they contain all sorts of pollutants, including highly radioactive materials.
The above documentary is one of the rare attempts made by foreign journalists to report on the issue.
Looking through some Somali news websites it’s very easy to find images of bizarre health symptoms, including people losing their skin, suffering blisters on their lips, noses and tongues, and sudden unexplained rashes.
Pictures of people with severe health conditions have been posted on websites like dayniile.com to raise funds and provide medical care for those who have been affected. The Somali Diaspora has also raised funds, which were used to fly a number of people out of the country for medical treatment.
There are endless reports of heart-breaking conditions, including uncontrollable tumours, digestive problems, psychological manifestations, and faces or other parts of the body suddenly becoming swollen at an alarming rate. The horror seems to be growing.
The people are terrified and do not know how to explain these problems but there is no one to turn to because the state’s various fiefdoms are in a constant battle for power. Journalists are killed or harmed daily and foreigners could face the possibility of kidnap or death within a few minutes of entering Somalia. This is why you don’t hear these stories in the news. There is hell cooking in Somalia, and if nothing is done quickly we may witness one of the greatest environmental disasters in recent history.