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See: Drinking Poisonous Water


Below are some of the pictures sent to Ms Almaz Mequanint by the residents (victims) of HVA industrial poisoning in Wonji, Ethiopia. The pictures show bedbounded victims who were disabled from 17-28 years, and victims with brittle bones and destroyed teeth. HVA is the Amsterdam-based agro-development firm with "irrigation for integrated sugar processing" facilities in the African Union (Nigeria, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sudan and Tanzania).

The image on the right (immediately above) shows that the irrigation canal passes through residential areas.

The picture of the tap water (below left) is a treated water fountain which all residents in that area used to get drinking water, unfortunately now it is not working. There is also a picture of a house (below right) that gives you the idea about the houses in the area, and if you look at the roof, it is totally asbestos.

Below - letters from Michelle Kozel and Elias Gizaw on the disaster in Wonji, Metehara and Wonji/Shoa in Ethiopia...

From Michelle Kozel,

I am an American who lives and works in a community that is largely Ethiopian, and was referred to an article that was written by Mrs. Almaz Mequanint. This fueled me to further research the claims being made in the article and I was appalled to find that every claim she presented turned out to be factual. Several people that I have met and worked with from that region have talked of and bared the horrible scars of the pollution they grew up with. One woman who works for me in fact, has actually been undergoing bone density screenings and has horrible joint and bone pain from the excess fluoride that was in her daily drinking water. She is working through this pain because the dental insurance is helping pay for the repairs on her family\'s teeth which are horribly decayed.

My question is, has the AUF been able to get help for the people who live in these communities? Is there not some sort of legal action that these villages can take against the companies who caused such poisoning and pollution which has devastated these people?

Perhaps these may seem like questions asked by a naive American, however I have become truly interested in what will become of these people. I care for my dear friends and co-workers and hate seeing the pain and suffering that my friends still endure while living in the USA even years after being exposed to these poisonous conditions. I am now truly grateful every time I pour myself a glass of water, and I praise God that I myself did not have to face these same conditions.

Michelle R. Kozel
Boston, Massachusetts

more below...


From Elias Gizaw,

I read the Article written by Almaz Mequanint about pollution in Wonji, Wonji Shoa and Metehara, Ethiopia. I lived near those towns where the HVA had the sugar refinery Plant.

I have seen a lot of residents and factory workers who had been disabled due to this pollution and a study was done back then by Addis Ababa University and [to which] was turned [a] deaf ear. It is also amazing the government knowing this pollution did not do anything about it.

Mrs. Almaz Mequanint is the voice of many people in those regions. We support her effort to voice for many and I also very much appreciate posting her concern for many.

Keep the good work

Thank you,

Elias Gizaw