Dakar locals can breathe a sigh of relief after official Port Authorities confirmed on Wednesday that 3,050 tonnes of ammonium nitrate have been completely evacuated from their ports and trucked to Mali.
The official statement issued by the port’s communication department, ”To date, no ammonium nitrate is present at the port of Dakar.” The officials also stated to the public that the task had been fully brought to fruition on Tuesday.
This is the same substance at a slightly lesser volume that caused the devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon last month which crippled the city, took the lives of at least 190 people and injured thousands.
Following that explosive, several nations have been scrambling to verify that their ports are not in similar potentially vulnerable situations. Senegalese President Macky Sall also called two weeks ago for the safe and immediate disposal of the material — which had been parked for a month, instructing the environment and interior ministers to implement a national plan to oversee the inventory, auditing and securing of warehouses storing dangerous chemicals.
In spite of the recent coup d’état and sanctions imposed on Mali by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), close to 20 trucks a day é each carrying 30 tonnes of the material, were escorted by gendarmerie to eastern border it shared with Senegal.