This mission report details the findings of a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team following explosions at an ammunition storage site in Brazzaville, in the Republic of the Congo. The team, deployed by the UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit and OCHA’s Field Coordination Support Services (FCSS), undertook a rapid environmental assessment and sampled the soil for heavy metal contamination.
In the aftermath of the devastating explosions at an ammunition storage site in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo in March 2012, the JEU and the OCHA’s Field Coordination Support Services (FCSS) deployed a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team and a Swiss expert – in response to a request by the UN Resident Coordinator and in coordination with the OCHA Regional Office for West & Central Africa. The UNDAC mission team undertook a rapid environmental assessment of industrial sites located within 500 meters of the exploded ammunition storage to determine if any installations had been damaged to an extent that would pose additional secondary risks to the population and the environment. This rapid environmental assessment did not point to any significant additional hazards. Sampling analysis results received from the Swiss National Laboratory indicated that traces of lead, copper and mercury were detectable in soil samples from the impact zone. No significantly elevated amounts of heavy metals were measured in other samples. No immediate follow-up was needed, and a more detailed assessment was to be undertaken once the Unexploded Ordnance (UXOs) had been cleared.
Consult the report here.