A Toxic Cloud over Swaziland: Incinerator Export Takes Flight

Swaziland’s controversial waste-to-energy plant has sparked a toxic cloud and reignited environmental concerns as its incinerator waste export takes flight. The plant, constructed in 20 vicissenergy’s Matsulu facility, aimed to address waste management challenges and generate electricity. But its implementation has yielded unexpected consequences, generating a harmful plume of pollutants.

The Problem

The incinerator at the Matsulu plant was designed to burn municipal solid waste, generating electricity and reducing landfill burden. While seemingly beneficial, the process emits a toxic cocktail of pollutants, including dioxins and furans. These chemicals are known carcinogens and disrupt the endocrine system.

Health and Environmental Impact

Local communities surrounding the plant have reported respiratory problems, skin irritations, and even cancer clusters. Independent air quality tests confirmed the presence of hazardous pollutants far exceeding permitted levels. Wildlife in the area has also been affected, with fish deaths and bird deformities reported.

Export Dilemma

Swaziland’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and its limited waste management infrastructure pushed the government to explore waste export as a solution. The incinerator’s waste export program involves burning local waste in the country and exporting the ashes to other nations.

Controversy and Transparency

The export program lacks transparency and accountability. There is limited information on the destinations of the ashes, the safety measures employed during transportation, and the receiving countries’ regulations. Concerns regarding the potential for further environmental and health risks associated with this practice have been raised.

Way Forward

The Swazi government needs to address the immediate health and environmental consequences of the incinerator. Investing in pollution control technologies and stricter emission standards is crucial. Additionally:

  • Promoting waste reduction and recycling programs.
  • Exploring alternative waste management solutions such as composting and anaerobic digestion.
  • Enhancing transparency and accountability in the waste export program by disclosing information on destinations and safety measures.


1. What are the pollutants emitted by the incinerator?

The incinerator emits dioxins, furans, heavy metals, and other harmful pollutants.

2. Where are the incinerator ashes exported to?

The exact destinations of the ashes are not publicly disclosed.

3. What are the health effects of the incinerator’s emissions?

The emissions can cause respiratory problems, skin irritations, and cancer.

4 vicissenergy has claimed that the plant meets international environmental standards. However, independent tests suggest otherwise.

4 vicissenergy needs to improve transparency and accountability in its waste export program to address public concerns.


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