- Title: Yemen's toxic trash mountain adds to war woes
- Date: 13th December 2016
- Summary: SANAA, YEMEN (RECENT) (REUTERS) PLASTIC BAGS AND GARBAGE FLOATING ABOVE MOUNTAIN OF GARBAGE PEOPLE GATHERING GARBAGE / GARBAGE TRUCKS ON LANDFILL TRUCKS AT GARBAGE SITE WORKERS AND GARBAGE TRUCKS GARBAGE TRUCKS EMPTYING LOAD OF GARBAGE AT DUMP SITE BULLDOZER PUSHING PILES OF GARBAGE / WORKERS WEARING MASKS PICKING UP GARBAGE VARIOUS OF GARBAGE DUMP / POOLS OF CONTAMINATED WASTE WATER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ENVIRONMENT PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SANAA, KHALID AL THOR, SAYING: "The main problem we're now facing is in the management of waste in Yemen that is posing a real danger to the general health of residents, the pollution of our groundwater, and the pollution of our soil." PLASTIC BAGS AND GARBAGE FLYING ABOVE MOUNTAIN OF GARBAGE BULLDOZER AT THE TOP OF MOUNTAIN OF GARBAGE VARIOUS OF FUMES RISING FROM THE GARBAGE DUMP MOUNTAINS OF GARBAGE AT THE SANAA DUMP SITE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT, SHAYEF AL ASRI, SAYING: "At night I cover my mouth, the smell of rot wakes me from my sleep, and it has only gotten worse since they struck the recycling plant." VARIOUS OF MOUNTAINS OF GARBAGE, WORKERS AT THE SITE VARIOUS OF POOLS OF CONTAMINATED WASTE WATER AT THE BASE OF MOUNTAIN OF GARBAGE HEAD OF THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SANAA, PROFESSOR MOHAMMED AL QAHALI, AT DUMP SITE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SANAA, PROFESSOR MOHAMMED AL QAHALI, SAYING: "These pools of contaminated waste water, if they are allowed to seep into the groundwater basin of Sanaa, it will pose a grave danger to the coming generations because of its contamination with hazardous chemicals that could cause a variety of diseases including cancers, birth defects, immunological disorders and many other diseases." VARIOUS OF GARBAGE TRUCKS DRIVING ALONG THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS OF GARBAGE PILES OF GARBAGE AT THE DUMP SITE POOL OF CONTAMINATED WATER AT THE BASE OF GARBAGE DUMP MOUNTAIN OF GARBAGE PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE ENTRANCE OF THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTRE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SANAA SIGN READING (English/Arabic): "SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTRE" VARIOUS OF RESEARCHERS AND ACADEMICS SEATED AROUND TABLE AT THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ENVIRONMENT PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SANAA, KHALID AL THOR, SAYING: "We are calling on international organisations to help us because our universities and our research centres, to be completely honest, are not capable of resolving the problem of the contaminated pools of waste water. It requires a certain level of technological advancement that we do not possess. It requires expertise and an immediate resolution, otherwise the cities of Yemen, and first and foremost, the capital Sanaa, will disappear from the map, because there will be no (clean) water and no fertile soil." VARIOUS OF DESTROYED WASTE RECYCLING PLANT VARIOUS OF DAMAGED EQUIPMENT AT THE RECYCLING PLANT
- Embargoed: 28th December 2016 12:17
- Keywords: Yemen garbage conflict Sanaa
- Location: SANAA, YEMEN
- City: SANAA, YEMEN
- Country: Yemen
- Reuters ID: LVA0015CPT55H
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Many disasters loom over Yemen as it suffers through nearly two years of war, among them a colossal pile of waste outside the capital leeching toxic waste into its diminishing water supply.
Hardly a paragon of waste management before the war, Sanaa was at least able to separate out the most dangerous materials from the 10-million-ton hill thanks to a nearby treatment plant.
No longer. The facility was bombed by a Saudi-led military coalition battling the armed Houthi movement which controls the capital in June of last year and again last December.
Now vast stinking pools created in part by untreated medical waste accumulate at the pile's base, threatening to contaminate the water supply for the parched city. Experts have long predicted Sanaa will be the first capital to use up all its water.
"The main problem we're now facing is in the management of waste in Yemen that is posing a real danger to the general health of residents," said environment professor at Sanaa University Khaled al-Thor.
Academics have also warned that the pools of contaminated waste contain "hazardous chemicals," threatening the spread of disease.
Sanaa University Science and Technology professor Mohammed al-Qahali warned the chemicals could cause a variety of diseases including cancers, birth defects, immunological disorders and many other diseases."
The United Nations estimates that over four-fifths of Yemen's 28 million people need some form of humanitarian aid as a near-blockade on Yemen's ports and fighting have devastated the fragile economy, spreading hunger and disease.
Saudi Arabia and its mostly Gulf Arab allies have launched thousands of air strikes against the Houthis in a bid to restore Yemen's exiled government to power.
While the bombings have repeatedly hit homes, schools, hospitals, bridges, markets and other civilian infrastructure, the coalition says it takes pains not to target innocents and blames the Houthis for deploying in civilian areas.
As U.N.-backed peace efforts have repeatedly failed to stop the fighting, residents living near the growing heap have seen their lives become more unbearable.
"At night I cover my mouth, the smell of rot wakes me from my sleep, and it has only gotten worse since they struck the recycling plant," Shayef al-Asri said.
But the crisis may be more than a disgusting inconvenience and may threaten to end more than two millennia of urban civilisation in the capital, said al-Thor.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None