Africa

Ivory Coast teacher welcomes guilty verdict

Science teacher Guy Oulla, 42, who counts himself as one of the victims of toxic waste exposure, tells the BBC News website his feelings after a Dutch court convicted multinational company Trafigura of illegally exporting toxic waste from Amsterdam to the main Ivory Coast city of Abidjan.

Trafigura denies any wrongdoing.

Guy Oulla, 42, science teacher

Image caption Guy Oulla says he was ill for almost six months

It is a good thing that they have been found guilty.

But it would be even better if they were sent to jail.

Back in 2006, on the 19 August, I smell a strong odour - like burning rubber.

I thought something was burning in a house in my neighbourhood but when I went outside - it was around 10 o'clock at night - I couldn't see fire but the smell was there.

It was everywhere.

The next day, we thought that maybe it was chemical to kill all the mosquitoes but two days later I started to feel sick.

'I was weak'

My stomach was hurting and I started vomiting. I was throwing up badly and then I had a fever so I went to bed.

I couldn't eat.

I was weak.

I couldn't work.

At first I went to the Cocody hospital; there they gave me painkillers, which did not help and so then, I went to the military hospital. That was where I received several treatments.

It was a lot of money that I had to pay for all my treatments.

I received some of the settlement money [paid by Trafigura, which did not admit liability].

I was given $1,400 (£909).

It was not enough though because I had spent so much. Not only on my visits to the hospital and for my treatment but also I couldn't work.

I lost money in wages.

The money we were given was not enough.

Exactly what price can you place on good health?

We had to live next to the waste for a long time because it was 500m away from my neighbourhood, Akouedo. There was nowhere to go to get away from it.

All the people in my neighbourhood were ill - at least 300 people.

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