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
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