Thousands of people in Ivory Coast who claim to have fallen ill from toxic waste are to receive damages from the firm which sub-contracted the dumping of the sludge.
Some 31,000 claimants will be paid the equivalent of 1,000 euros in a settlement with the international commodities trader Trafigura. Locals claim to have suffered from skin complaints and respiratory problems and it is alleged at least 15 people have died. But representatives of the workers say the money is not enough and will not cover the cost of medical bills. Many say they want to go on fighting for a fairer deal. It was back in 2006 when Trafigura transported the waste to Ivory Coast which was then dumped near the economic capital Abidjan. Trafigura says it admits no liability; there is no proof of a connection between the waste and the health problems and describes the settlement together with a one-off payment in 2007 as a complete vindication.