Sierra Leone — A recent disclosure by the presidential adviser and newly elected Member of Parliament, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, about the Sierra Leone-Lebanese waste saga is throwing light into the supposedly illegal scheme by officials in Beirut to dump their waste in Sierra Leone.
Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, is reported to have said he provided guidelines to the officials in Beirut after they said they wanted to set up a fertilizer plant using local waste and trash brought in from Lebanon.
Hon. Alhaji IB Kargbo denied giving any authorization to a Lebanese company for waste to be taken to Sierra Leone.
“Alhaji IB Kargbo said to me that all he did was to provide guidelines to them, a few days ago, since they’d said they wanted to set up a fertilizer plant using local waste and trash from Lebanon. He insisted that he made it clear to them that no toxic waste would be allowed in and that the line ministries and ultimately the president would be responsible for the final approval,” Umaru Fofana disclosed.
The Government of Sierra Leone denied reports that Sierra Leone has agreed to accept Lebanon’s trash after Beirut last month approved an exportation plan to end the country’s nearly six-month-long waste crisis.
President Koroma instructed the Office of National Security and the Sierra Leone Police to conduct criminal investigations into the circumstances surrounding the matter.
The Daily Star, a Lebanese media, reported on Saturday January 9, 2016, that Sierra Leone has reportedly agreed to accept Lebanon’s trash after Beirut last month approved an exportation plan to end the country’s nearly six-month-long waste crisis.
The report said the Lebanese Foreign Ministry received a letter Thursday from Sierra Leone authorities informing it of the country’s willingness to accept its waste.
The letter, which was originally addressed to Holland’s Howa BV firm, is signed by an adviser to Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, according to the report.
As-Safir said the West African nation consented on the condition that the waste be free of toxins, underlining that the approval remains at a preliminary stage until Sierra Leone’s government and president confirm the deal.
Lebanon is bound by the U.N. Basel Convention on hazardous waste to sort this refuse, thought to have exceeded 100,000 tons, though waste specialists admit that it will be difficult because it is infectious and compacted.