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2007年VOA标准英语-Ivorians Seek Justice for Illegal Toxic Waste D

时间:2007-05-16 00:54来源:互联网 提供网友:0119   字体: [ ]

By Phuong Tran
11 January 2007

Some victims of last year's toxic1 waste dumping in Ivory Coast are staging a hunger strike to demand promised government compensation, while others are joining lawsuits3. At least 10 people died, and thousands were admitted to hospitals with respiratory problems, following the illegal dumping. Phuong Tran reports from the VOA West Africa bureau in Dakar.

Dozens of hunger strikers are among the victims of hazardous4 waste dumping in August. They are demanding compensation for their injuries. The chemical waste belong to the dutch-based oil trader, Trafigura. The company has denied all wrongdoing, saying it has entrusted5 the waste to an Ivorian disposal company, Tommy. The Ivorian company offloaded the waste from a Panamanian-registered tanker6.

In a written statement, Trafigura said claims of illegal dumping are baseless.

Laurent Gbagbo
A meeting last month between victims' associations and President Laurent Gbagbo led to the government's promise of about 80-thousand dollars for the victims and another 50-thousand dollars in medical assistance.

Maury Sise, of the Ivorian non-profit group, Protection and Empowerment of Women and Children, is a coordinator7 of victims' efforts to seek justice for the illegal dumping.

Sise says the government's initial response to the hunger strike is that the funding has already been set aside for victims who live near the contaminated areas, but that there is a problem with disbursements.

One of those contaminated regions is around Abidjan's largest landfill, located in the suburb of Akouedo. Rachel Gogoua lives less than 500 meters from the dump, but disagrees with the hunger strike tactic8
Containers are seen before being discharged from the MN Toucan9, a ship carrying 3,000 tons of deadly toxic blamed for the death of 10 people in Ivory Coast, upon its arrival in France
striking for the government money that was promised and that they have not received. We are not part of this effort to get this money. It is not our problem because that money can not do anything for us. It can not cure anybody and would barely help 20 people in my neighborhood."

Instead, Gogoua and hundreds of others are joining lawsuits that will go through European courts to seek compensation from the company, Trafigura.

British lawyer Martyn Day is in Ivory Coast interviewing potential participants in Akouedo for what he hopes will become one of the largest class-action suits to be heard in British courts. "We have a massive multi-national, Trafigura, that absolutely knew the waste aboard its ship was toxic. They bring it to Abidjan to a war torn country with no treatment facilities. I am optimistic still that Trafigura will see sense and try to reach some sort of resolution with us in relation to these claims," he said.

He says he expects to leave Ivory Coast this weekend with nearly 500 lawsuit2 plaintiffs.

Day says compensation payments may range from two-thousand dollars for each victim with mild injuries to three times that amount for more serious injuries.

This is important for the Akouedo resident Gogoua who opted10 to seek justice in a courtroom rather than through a strike. "We need chest x-rays, we need blood tests, we need urine tests. What the government is offering is not enough," he said.

In response, Trafigura has filed libel proceedings11 against Day's firm, Leigh Day and Company, and says it is being wrongfully accused of causing death and environmental damage.

An Ivorian government inquiry12 found administrative13 failures and negligence14 by Port Authority, which allowed the waste to be disposed of in Abidjan.

The poisonous sludge was dumped into more than 15 open-air sites in Abidjan without being treated. Ivorian health authorities say that tens of thousands have reported health problems related to being exposed to the waste, such as vomiting15, diarrhea, nosebleeds and breathing problems.


1 toxic inSwc     
  • The factory had accidentally released a quantity of toxic waste into the sea.这家工厂意外泄漏大量有毒废物到海中。
  • There is a risk that toxic chemicals might be blasted into the atmosphere.爆炸后有毒化学物质可能会进入大气层。
2 lawsuit A14xy     
  • They threatened him with a lawsuit.他们以诉讼威逼他。
  • He was perpetually involving himself in this long lawsuit.他使自己无休止地卷入这场长时间的诉讼。
3 lawsuits 1878e62a5ca1482cc4ae9e93dcf74d69     
n.诉讼( lawsuit的名词复数 )
  • Lawsuits involving property rights and farming and grazing rights increased markedly. 涉及财产权,耕作与放牧权的诉讼案件显著地增加。 来自辞典例句
  • I've lost and won more lawsuits than any man in England. 全英国的人算我官司打得最多,赢的也多,输的也多。 来自辞典例句
4 hazardous Iddxz     
  • These conditions are very hazardous for shipping.这些情况对航海非常不利。
  • Everybody said that it was a hazardous investment.大家都说那是一次危险的投资。
5 entrusted be9f0db83b06252a0a462773113f94fa     
v.委托,托付( entrust的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He entrusted the task to his nephew. 他把这任务托付给了他的侄儿。
  • She was entrusted with the direction of the project. 她受委托负责这项计划。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 tanker xqawA     
  • The tanker took on 200,000 barrels of crude oil.油轮装载了二十万桶原油。
  • Heavy seas had pounded the tanker into three parts.汹涌的巨浪把油轮撞成三载。
7 coordinator Gvazk6     
  • The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, headed by the Emergency Relief Coordinator, coordinates all UN emergency relief. 联合国人道主义事务协调厅在紧急救济协调员领导下,负责协调联合国的所有紧急救济工作。
  • How am I supposed to find the client-relations coordinator? 我怎么才能找到客户关系协调员的办公室?
8 tactic Yqowc     
  • Reducing prices is a common sales tactic.降价是常用的销售策略。
  • She had often used the tactic of threatening to resign.她惯用以辞职相威胁的手法。
9 toucan OgRzPt     
  • A toucan is a South American bird.巨嘴鸟是北美的一种鸟。
  • There is a toucan in this zoo.这个动物园有一只巨嘴鸟。
10 opted 9ec34da056d6601471a0808ebc89b126     
v.选择,挑选( opt的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She was co-opted onto the board. 她获增选为董事会成员。
  • After graduating she opted for a career in music. 毕业后她选择了从事音乐工作。
11 proceedings Wk2zvX     
  • He was released on bail pending committal proceedings. 他交保获释正在候审。
  • to initiate legal proceedings against sb 对某人提起诉讼
12 inquiry nbgzF     
  • Many parents have been pressing for an inquiry into the problem.许多家长迫切要求调查这个问题。
  • The field of inquiry has narrowed down to five persons.调查的范围已经缩小到只剩5个人了。
13 administrative fzDzkc     
  • The administrative burden must be lifted from local government.必须解除地方政府的行政负担。
  • He regarded all these administrative details as beneath his notice.他认为行政管理上的这些琐事都不值一顾。
14 negligence IjQyI     
  • They charged him with negligence of duty.他们指责他玩忽职守。
  • The traffic accident was allegedly due to negligence.这次车祸据说是由于疏忽造成的。
15 vomiting 7ed7266d85c55ba00ffa41473cf6744f     
  • Symptoms include diarrhoea and vomiting. 症状有腹泻和呕吐。
  • Especially when I feel seasick, I can't stand watching someone else vomiting." 尤其晕船的时候,看不得人家呕。”
TAG标签:   VOA标准英语  Ivorians  Justice  Illeg
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