PRESS CONFERENCE OF FAVIDET-CI
February 12, 2011
GARDEN RESTAURANT SPACE
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear journalists from both national and international press,
Dear journalists from national and international television channels and radio stations,
It is with a great joy that I meet you this morning. Since the press conference of the CI-FAVIDET September 4, 2010 which saw the official launch of the national identification operation of victims of toxic wastes in the district of Abidjan, now is the second time we meet to provide you with certain information in connection with the toxic wastes.
As a reminder, since September 4, 2010, in view of perfectly organizing all victims of toxic waste, the FAVIDET-CI had them identified in a highly secure national database. This was a great success with the public. It should normally last six months but two months after its launch, it has to pause. This abrupt stop was due to the post-election crisis. During two months of operation, we have identified in our database 22 447 victims.
Dear journalists, we are not here this morning to further elaborate on the transaction that the whole world knows. I take this opportunity to inform you that the polluter TRAFIGURA received a copy of the national database.
Ladies and gentlemen, what motivated us to call you and present the agenda of this meeting is the first official presentation of the documentary film by FAVIDET-CI on the impact of toxic wastes on the population of the District of Abidjan Five years after the spill.
As anyone with a sense of curiosity, one might ask how this initiative could take root in our minds. Indeed, among all actions that FAVIDET-CI was able to carry out, the national operation to identify victims of toxic waste has enabled us to meet more closely the victims, to listen and learn about their suffering that is to say the direct and negative repercussions of this waste on their health.
These surprising or rather if I may, these terrible and pathetic effects of toxic waste on the populations do not leave us indifferent. So we want to share with you, dear journalists, what we saw. We want to sensitize TRAFIGURA inc. about the dangers of toxic waste on the Ivorian population and draw the attention of the international community in this documentary.
DURATION AND TITLE OF FILM
Ladies and gentlemen, you will have the opportunity to see just now this movie that lasts 26 minutes. It is entitled "THE CONSEQUENCES OF TOXIC WASTE ON THE POPULATIONS"
Dear journalists, before moving to the next point of my speech, let me tell you that the FAVIDET-CI is a legally incorporated association. She cannot do anything without informing the authorities. Accordingly, before the presentation of the film to the press, we informed both national and international authorities namely the President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, the Minister of the Interior, the District Attorney and the Representative of the UN in Côte d'Ivoire and the Secretary General of the UN.
Allow me to remind you that FAVIDET-CI is composed of 102 representatives and associations.
Dear journalists, we would like to inform you that the film you will watch was submitted to BURIDA, the national authority to manage copyrights, to protect our rights.
Ladies and gentlemen, expecting a global audience to watch this film, we used a team of professionals, from the film designing down to its full completion, to fix the sound and mixing in compliance with international televisions. So that is a film ready to be consumed by television channels around the world.
For the purpose of a wide accessibility of the film, it has been translated into English. So this film is available in both French and English.
ACTIONS AND STRATEGIES
To update you on actions and strategies, dear journalists, let me inform you that the dumping of toxic wastes in Ivory Coast has resulted in many actions taken and strategies as well.
There were at first, immediate actions. They consisted of street protests, the medical care to victims of toxic wastes by the government including the meeting of President of the Republic with the victims.
Second, we have medium term actions that resulted in the emergence of victims’ advocacy groups, the identification of victims by some of these associations and the payment of CFA 200,000 francs following the Government’s legal action against the legal firm Leigh Day & Co. In that light, 29,624 victims were compensated and certain Associations took legal actions Trafigura.
This film is reopening the debate on the toxic wastes scandal. It breaks away from the habit of just saving the contaminated people following the dumping of toxic waste and try to take action against the polluter. Action is only meaningful over time. Therefore, the FAVIDET-CI engages an action known as The Consequences of Toxic Waste on populations for a long term by providing, through this documentary, a scientific evidence of the impact of toxic waste on the Ivorian population.
PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
Call to victims and Trafigura
Dear journalists, facing the serious consequences of toxic wastes that you have just witnessed, we cannot conclude this press conference without making some appeals.
First, the FAVIDET-CI calls on all people exposed to toxic wastes in Ivory Coast in 2006 to get registered with its relevant services for their names to be recorded in the national database of the victims of toxic wastes for the protection of their rights and those of their offspring.
As for Trafigura,
We urgently request her to come and medically manage all victims of toxic wastes.
We also require the immediate removal of the toxic wastes still stored in some places and causing serious cases of death.
We really intend to move forward from this disaster and are pushing for a whole compensation of all victims identified in the national database of the victims of toxic waste in Ivory Coast.
The President of the FAVIDET-CI
ASSI ADOU NICOMEDES