Is the Waste Coming from Naples to Morocco Toxic-free?

Casablanca, Morocco

The Italian city of Naples is known globally to be a fascinating city. But it is also a dumping location that is seized by the Italian Mafia. The latter works jointly with the Italian government to profit from the waste disposed of in the city by many European companies, as many claim. Now, part of that waste has been exported to Morocco after an agreement between the two governments.

In a seizure of guilt and attempt to compensate for his villainous deeds in the past, Carmine Schiavone, an Italian former Mafiosi leader, admitted to having witnessed and supervised the disposal of waste (nuclear waste included) coming from various countries in Naples in 1997. His confession wasn’t made public until 2014 when the pressure of  the people over the confessions of Schiavone reached its apex. The Italian government was then forced to release his statements, leading to the eruption of a public uproar. Schiavone confessed that his ex-mafia network, which was located in Naples, turned this part of the country into a dumping place under the protection and blessing of the state. Influential Italian personalities, including the then president, allegedly took part in this scheme, as Shiavone said. He also claimed that the toxic waste led to the death of many people who were exposed to it and will lead to the deaths of those who will be exposed to it in the future.

After many years of protests by Italians and a significant amount of pressure leveled at the Italian government to get rid of that waste, the latter stroke a historical and quite controversial deal with the Moroccan state, a deal whereby 2.5 tons of the waste of reportedly plastic bags will be disposed of in the Moroccan cities of Settat and Casablanca. Subsequent to the release of this deal in Moroccan e-newspapers, a massive wave of outcries and criticism ensued; Moroccans accused the Moroccan government of double standards since it has recently launched a campaign against plastic bags (Zero Mika, no plastic bags) and issued a law which not only criminalized the use or possession or manufacture of plastic bags but will also fine people who violate this law. While strictly prohibiting plastic bags and mobilizing people by all means to not use them because of their harm on the environment and on people, the Moroccan government agreed, after receiving Euros from the Italian government, to be the dumping place of Italy, a waste that has proven to be extremely hazardous to the lives of people according to environmentalists and studies.

In a study that cost the U.S. Navy 30 Dollars, it was found that much of the dumping locations in Naples were contaminated, with places where high levels of Uranium waste were identified. The waste which landed in Moroccan soil a few days ago has certainly come from Italy and its dumping places. So, my questions are the following:  Is the waste Morocco received toxic-free? Will the money we received from Italy in exchange for its waste be sufficient to heal those who might be affected by cancer or other diseases? Did the government hire a committee of specialists to investigate the content of the waste and to analyze the consequences of disposing of it in Morocco? These inquires will probably be left unanswered.

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