Swaziland’s Incinerator Export: A Threat to Human Rights and Food Security


Swaziland, a landlocked nation in southern Africa, has embarked on an alarming initiative – the export of waste incinerators. Despite facing severe environmental, social, and economic challenges, the government has authorized the sale of these polluting devices to other African countries. This controversial practice raises serious concerns about its detrimental effects on human rights and food security.

Environmental Concerns:

Incinerators generate toxic emissions, including greenhouse gases, acid rain precursors, and harmful particulate matter. The export of these devices potentially perpetuates air pollution and environmental degradation in recipient nations. Many African countries lack the infrastructure and regulations to effectively manage air pollution.

Health and Human Rights Impacts:

Air pollution from incinerators can lead to severe health problems, including respiratory diseases, cardiovascular complications, and cancer. The displacement of polluting industries to other countries violates the right to a clean and healthy environment enshrined in international human rights law.

Food Security Implications:

Agriculture, which sustains food security in many African countries, is vulnerable to air pollution. Nitrates and other pollutants emitted by incinerators contaminate soil and water, harming crop yields and livestock productivity. This threatens food availability and affordability, particularly in vulnerable communities.

Trade and Environmental Justice:

Swaziland’s practice violates the polluter pays principle, where costs should be borne by the country generating the pollution. By exporting incinerators, Swaziland externalizes these costs onto other nations. This unjust trade practice undermines environmental sustainability and fairness.


1. Why is Swaziland exporting incinerators?

Swaziland aims to generate revenue from the sale of these devices. However, this approach fails to address the underlying economic and environmental challenges facing the country.

2. What are the potential consequences of importing incinerators?

Importing incinerators will exacerbate air pollution, harming human health and jeopardizing food security in recipient nations.

3. What are the international legal obligations of Swaziland?

Swaziland is bound by international human rights and environmental agreements that uphold the right to a clean and healthy environment.

4. What are the alternatives to incinerator exports?

Swaziland could pursue sustainable waste management practices like recycling, composting, and waste reduction to reduce its environmental footprint.

5. What is the role of the international community?

The international community can provide technical assistance and support to Swaziland for sustainable waste management transition and discourage the export of polluting technologies.


Comments are closed

Recent Posts