Greece is planning to dump hundreds of tones thousands of sewage sludge in the Sudan. An estimated 170,000 tons have already accumulated in Attica’s sole sewage treatment plant. 700 tons of contaminated muddy waste is added to it everyday. The planned plant to treat the waste locally may take two to three years to complete. This delay would contribute additional 700,000 tons to Attica’s mountain of waste. If the deal with the Sudan goes through, an estimated one million tons of waste would be dumped somewhere in the country. If Greece cannot cope with its own waste, why export it to a country ill equipped and ill prepared to deal with its own?! The ensuing serious implications will affect millions of unsuspected and unprotected Sudanese people, especially the very young and the frail.
The Sudanese people are outraged. A huge campaign of protest against this blatant environmental racism has been waged inside and outside the Sudan.
The Sudanese community in the United Kingdom has organised its own protest actions. A public meeting of all Sudanese NGOs and political parties took place on the 14th of January 2006. The meeting voiced its strong protest against the planned dumping of waste contaminated with radioactive isotopes, heavy metals and biological hazards.
The meeting called for a demonstration against the corrupt deal in the streets of London on the 3rd of February and the submission of a protest resolution to the Greek and Sudanese Embassies. The protest letter will also be sent to the custodians of the Basel Convention on transboundary transportation of toxic waste.
We are all keenly aware that the European Parliament has only recently, last November in fact, criticised Greece for its ‘appalling record on waste disposal’.
We are also aware that many Greek people and Greek organisations are actively objecting to the execution of this shameful act that contravenes the spirit and the letter of the Basel Convention, to which Greece is a signatory.
We also know that the use of such sludge for agricultural purposes has been prohibited in Greece ten years ago.
If Greece, a rich country, cannot properly dispose of its own waste, why import it to a country that is both poor and internationally known for its rampant corruption?
Why dump your waste on us?
We are determined: this deal will not go through.
Representatives of the Sudanese community in the United Kingdom
(Sudanese Solidarity Council)
January the 21st 2006