The University of Minnesota Student Organizations have launched world-wide campaign to save millions of Ethiopians living around Lake Koka and in the Awash River basin, who we believe are dying from alleged toxic industrial waste discharged into the lakes and the rivers in Awash River basin by the Ethiopia Tannery Share Company, which is operated and managed by a British company, Pittards PLC; and other multinational flower farms and chemical factories.
It has become modus operandi of multinational corporations operating in developing countries to strip of the local population of their lands, destroying rare rainforest’s, forcibly removing the local population; and above all damping toxic industrial wastes into rivers, lakes and groundwater.
Currently, the Awash River Basin is one of the most affected and devastated region of the world with such extremely reckless practices destroying the ecosystem of the Great East African Rift Valley region of Ethiopia , and affecting millions of Ethiopians and their domestic animals who are dying of toxic waste pollution of their drinking waters.
These conducts are flagrant violation of internationally recognized fundamental human rights and environmental laws. Multinational corporations allegedly responsible for these gross violations are benefiting from globalization of resources and labor while operating with extreme recklessness and gross negligence in violation of international standards.
The international community has both legal and moral duty to enable the victims of these gross violations to benefit from the globalization of justice by holding these corporations accountable for their gross negligence and extreme recklessness as evidenced by the destruction of once pristine Lake Koka and the death of many Ethiopian citizens.
Please find attached petition letter addressed to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and other Ethiopia’s development partners including international human rights and environmental organizations, calling upon them to help stop such practices and help rehabilitate the injured communities and restore the ravaged ecosystem.
– Full Letter in PDF from University of Minnesota Student Organizations
List of Student Organizations at the University of Minnesota Sub-signing the Letter:
– Environmental Law Society
– Amnesty International Student Chapter
– International Law Society
– Federalist Society
– Lake Koka & Awash River Basin Preservation Initiative (Environmental Law Society)
– Minnesota Justice Foundation
– Black Law Students Association
– American Constitution Society
Previous Reports about Lake Koka :
– Video: Lake Koka – The Appalling Destruction of Environment
– Oromo Studies Association (OSA): The Ethiopian Tannery Responsible for Lake Koka Pollution
– Ethiopian Tannery Denies Polluting Lake Koka (Response to OSA’s Letter)
– Earth Day 2009: The Deplorable State of The Environment in Ethiopia
– Environment in Peril in Oromia, Ethiopia
– Ethiopia’s environmental policy: Destroying communities is ok
– Industrial pollution of Akaki, Modjo and Sebeta rivers