Africa, The World's 'Septic Tank'

Dakar (AFP) Sep 25, 2006

"We talk of globalisation, of the global village, but here in Africa, we are under the impression of being that village's septic tank," says Senegalese ecologist Haidar al-Ali.

A series of pollution scandals, ranging from the discharge of toxic waste in Ivory Coast to radioactive tanks in Somalia, show that Africa's poverty, corruption, and non-existent or malfunctioning democracies make it the world's preferred dumping ground.

According to the French environment protection group, Robin des Bois, the waste sent to Africa -- such as old tyres, cars and broken computers containing toxic parts -- is "very difficult, if not impossible, to recycle."