Investigations have revealed that Glencore has caused an environmental disaster in Chad: Chemicals from the petroleum production are poisoning a river. This causes large burn blisters on the skin of both children and adults and livestock perishes.
Defective construction of catch basins for Glencore petroleum production
Glencore operates an oil field in the far south of Chad. Toxic wastewater from the oil production was stored in a large catch basin. The earth dams of the catch basin were only one year old, but their construction was far too weak for the rainy season.
In September 2018 the disaster occurred: The basin burst, and the contaminated water poisoned the Nya Pende River. The river is used by the rural population for bathing, fishing, washing and watering the animals.
The day after the dam burst, there is a public meeting with Glencore representatives. The raw materials company claims that the water from the river can still be consumed without any danger.
Drastic consequences for people and the environment
Over 50 people from the nearby village report injuries. Children as well as adults describe that, after washing themselves in the river, their vision is blurred and that later they suffer from pain and large burn blisters on their skin. Goats, cows, pigs and sheep die.
It is only thanks to investigations by the British organisation “Raid” that these scandalous events are now known. In Switzerland, the Sunday newspaper report about it.
In the future, Glencore must be held accountable if it negligently poisons a river. This is precisely what the Responsible Business Initiative demands.
(Investigations by Raid, PDF in English)