Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Dozens of Dutch soldiers think that during their stay in Afghanistan they got cancer by ‘burn pits‘. These are burning garbage heaps. At the burn pits, eg, medical waste and work materials were burned.
The soldiers have reported to lawyer Ferre van de Nadort, who has done research on the burn pits in Kamp Holland. From July 2006 to July 2010, Kamp Holland was a Dutch army base in the Afghan province of Uruzgan.
Several soldiers have given photographs to the lawyer. These show that waste was incinerated in the open air and not in the incinerators in Kamp Holland. “From day one those ovens did not work properly”, says Van de Nadort.
Dutch daily Dagblad van het Noorden writes today about this photo (translated):
At ‘Kamp Holland’ in Afghanistan there were only three incinerators (in the upper-left of the picture), not six, as the defense minister told the House of Representatives. And they all did not work because of technical defects. That is why until the end of 2010 this burn pit, in which all waste was dumped, burned.
The NOS article continues:
He says that former Minister Hillen of
warDefense informed the House of Representatives incorrectly. He said in 2010 that there were six incinerators in Kamp Holland and that the waste was incinerated there. “But those six were in another camp, in Kandahar“, says Van de Nadort. “The minister has probably confused the two locations.”
The lawyer also says that the Ministry of Defense has never done good measurements at the incinerators and is now not dealing well with the sick (former) military people. “Defense is passing the buck to them, the soldiers are supposed to prove that it’s the burn pits, it’s an upside down world.” …
The ministry emphasizes that it now no longer has incinerators in mission areas and that the waste is now being disposed of via a ‘contractor’.
There are problems with privatising things through ‘contractors’; whether with big Japanese corporations in British nuclear energy; whether in prisons; or in war in Afghanistan. These ‘contractors’ may prioritize making profits above Dutch soldiers, other soldiers or Afghan civilians not getting cancer.
‘Dutch government lied on this scandal’: here.
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