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CJTF-HOA, Djiboutian officials discuss environment

By U.S. Navy David-Michael Ross Petty Officer 1st Class, CJTF-HOA

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Jan. 11, 2008 — Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, Force Protection officers Lt. Nick Martin, left, Lt. Cmdr. Karen Corson and Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and Environment, Secretary General, Aboubaker Douale Waiss visit the La Douda Waste Facility Jan. 8.

Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, Force Protection officers Lt. Nick Martin, left, Lt. Cmdr. Karen Corson and Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and Environment, Secretary General, Aboubaker Douale Waiss visit the La Douda Waste Facility Jan. 8.

DJIBOUTI, Horn of Africa (Jan. 11, 2008) — The surgeon cell from Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa met with the Djibouti Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and Environment, Jan. 8, to tour the base and surrounding area to see first-hand environmental concerns and address sanitation issues.

According to CTJF-HOA’s outgoing force protection officer, Lt. Cmdr. Karen Corson, there are concerns about the waste management measures in place outside of the perimeter of Camp Lemonier, however long-term goals and a commitment to an action plan will eradicate any potential future environmental issues.

“This is an educational exchange of information about the environment, where we get to show them what we in the military do here on base in order to protect the Djiboutian environment while we’re here,” Corson said. “We have an opportunity to take a look at their resources and together examine ways for them to fully utilize them when it comes to their landfills and waste management.”

Ministry representative, Dr. Ammar Abdo Ahmed said that as a result of CJTF-HOA personnel playing an integral role in local humanitarian efforts, he believes this collaborative meeting will also yield many positive results when it comes to working on solutions in the area of sanitation.

“This is good that we are working as a team on a medical level, by looking at all of the factors and creating a long term action plan to take care of this problem,” Ahmed said.

CTJF-HOA incoming force protection officer, Navy Lt. Nick Martin, said traditional U.S. waste management solutions do not always translate to all regions in the world.

“In the states we have many resources to set up a landfill, for example, you would have incinerators and heavy machinery to roll over the trash and you just don’t have those sorts of things available here,” Martin said.

He stressed the importance of continued training and finding improved methods for handling waste.

Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa works to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect coalition interests in east Africa and Yemen through humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, consequence management, and civic action programs. This includes medical and veterinary care, school and medical clinic construction and water development projects.