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Kenya to probe alleged nuclear waste dumping by Americans
www.chinaview.cn 2005-01-25 16:04:14

    NAIROBI, Jan. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- The Kenyan government will probe whether an American company dumped nuclear waste in the east African country under the guise of exploring for oil, local media reported Tuesday.

    Kenyan Minister for Environment Kalonzo Musyoka has directed a special team to analyze soil samples from the exploration sites inthe North Eastern province, and vowed to sue the company if tracesof nuclear waste were found, according to The Standard, one of theleading daily newspapers in Kenya.

    "This is a serious and delicate matter," Musyoka was quoted as saying, adding that he had directed the National Environmental Management Authority to look into the alleged dumping.

    There are widespread fears in districts of northeastern Kenya that an American company, which arrived in the country to prospectfor oil in the 1980's, dumped nuclear waste in the remote region.

    According to the residents, the company excavated deep trenches,which they later covered with concrete slabs. The company officials also allegedly off-loaded huge consignments of mysterious goods at the sites whose contents they did not want thelocals to see.

    Local media said residents in the affected areas have been complaining of strange and incurable diseases, which they claim are caused by the alleged presence of radioactive material.

    "If results of the samples indicate the presence of radioactivematerial, we shall unearth the rest of the substances buried at the sites," Musyoka told The Standard.

    A story exposing the alleged dumping was published in The Standard on Saturday, causing strong reactions from Kenyan officials and civil societies, who urged the Kenyan government to come clean on the issue as soon as possible. Enditem 

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