News / USA

More Waste Uncovered at US Base in Afghanistan

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron gives a July 4 address to British and U.S. troops at the Camp Leatherneck military base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on July 4, 2011.   Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron gives a July 4 address to British and U.S. troops at the Camp Leatherneck military base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on July 4, 2011.
x
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron gives a July 4 address to British and U.S. troops at the Camp Leatherneck military base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on July 4, 2011.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron gives a July 4 address to British and U.S. troops at the Camp Leatherneck military base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on July 4, 2011.
VOA News
U.S. congressional inspectors have highlighted a second case of waste at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan in as many days, saying an $11 million trash incineration system has been underutilized, leaving most refuse to be burned in open-air pits.

The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said Thursday its investigators recently went to Camp Leatherneck in the southern province of Helmand and found that only two of its four solid-waste incinerators were in operation.

It said the two 12-ton machines were "not being used to full capacity," while the two larger 24-ton incinerators were not in use at all because a contract for their operation and maintenance had not been awarded.

Special Inspector General John Sopko raised the issue in a letter addressed to U.S. Central Command chief General Lloyd Austin and released to the media. Sopko said the underutilization of the incinerators has resulted in the base disposing of waste in open air burn pits, risking the health of its 13,500 military and civilian residents.

He said inhaling toxic smoke from the daily burning of solid waste increases the risk of longterm health problems such as reduced lung function, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Special Inspector General also said the base's continued use of burn pits since it opened five years ago violates U.S. government guidelines and military regulations which call for such disposal methods to be temporary.

Sopko called on U.S. military leaders to stop the use of the burn pits "as quickly as possible" and approve the operation of the four incinerators at full capacity.

SIGAR informed the media of another problem at Camp Leatherneck on Wednesday, saying the U.S. military spent $34 million to build a new complex in the base but is unlikely to ever use it. In a letter sent to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and U.S. military leaders, Sopko said he believes the facility is a "potentially troubling example of waste."

  • $34 million unused command & control center - exterior view (SIGAR)
  • $34 million unused command & control center - tactical operations center (SIGAR)
  • $34 million unused command & control center - unopened boxes and unused chairs (SIGAR)
  • $34 million unused command & control center - office furniture (SIGAR)
  • $34 million unused command & control center - office furniture (SIGAR)
  • $34 million unused command & control center - heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (SIGAR)
  • $34 million unused command & control center - heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (SIGAR)

The U.S. military hired British firm AMEC Earth and Environment to start building the complex in 2011, and intended to use it as a command headquarters for Afghanistan's desolate south. But the Special Inspector General said military officials recently told him it will not be occupied.

The 6,000 square-meter facility consists mostly of a large windowless building with spacious offices and expensive heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems for up to 1,500 staff. Sopko said some U.S. commanders in Helmand objected to plans for the building in 2010, saying there was no need for it.

He said he is "deeply troubled" that the military may have spent taxpayer funds on a project that "should have been stopped." Defense Department spokesman George Little said Wednesday that Sopko's letter is under review.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid