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UN Appeals For Help to Finance Toxic Waste Clean-Up In Ivory Coast


The United Nations environmental organization says Ivory Coast has only been able to raise half the money needed to clean up toxic waste from a Dutch ship.

The head of the U.N. Environment Program, Achim Steiner, says the country still needs about $20 million to finance the clean up and urged the international community to help pay for it.

The agency says it does not matter who is found responsible for the dumping. It says the citizens of Ivory Coast are some of the poorest in the world and have already paid dearly for the waste dumping.

Ivorian authorities say toxic chemicals from the waste killed 10 people and forced 100,000 more to seek medical attention.

The chemicals were unloaded from a Dutch-charted ship in August and placed in open air dumps around the capital, Abidjan.

The Dutch company, Trafigura, insists the chemicals were properly offloaded and handed over to a government-certified company.

An Ivorian government commission investigating the dumping has blamed local and government officials, as well as Trafigura for bringing the waste to Ivory Coast.