An estimated 2700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate equal to the volume involved in the cataclysmic Beirut blast, is stored in the port in Senegal’s capital Dakar.
The heavily destructive explosion that occurred on the 4th of August at the Beirut port killed over 181 people, wounded thousands and ravaged vast areas of the Lebanese capital.
Nationals blamed the explosion on the corruption of officials and negligence that saw the detonation of such huge stock of the highly explosive Ammonium nitrate that had been stored unsecured in a portside warehouse for years.
Senegalese port authorities said about 3,050 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had arrived in Dakar and of these, 350 tonnes were already sent to Mali. The remainder is also destined for Mali, but the landlocked country has been sealed off following a coup on Tuesday.
The owner of the Ammonium nitrate had proposed storing it on a plot of land he owns in an area 30 kilometres (19 miles) outside Dakar that is being developed as a satellite town.
But the environment ministry through a port official turned it down putting into consideration the safety of persons. Senegalese President, Macky Sall earlier this week asked the cabinet to draw up a plan to make depots storing hazardous chemical products extremely secure.
Dakar port authorities said they had taken “all necessary measures to avoid a similar disaster” like the Beirut blast.